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October 27, 2015

Jubilation in Ife as 41-yr old Ogunwusi named Ooni-elect

Jubilation in Ife as 41-yr old Ogunwusi named Ooni-elect

Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi

By Leke Adeseri, South West Regional Editor; Gbenga Olarinoye & Gbenga Oke

ILE-IFE—The Ooni of Ife-designate, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, will officially arrive the ancient town of Ile-Ife either today or latest tomorrow. He will be arriving in company of his family members, friends and well-wishers.Ooni of Ife-designate, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi

According to his itinerary revealed to Vanguard, yesterday, he will storm his traditional base to thank the king-makers after which the coronation rites as enshrined in the customs of the Ife people will be expected to start.

When Vanguard got across to his Lagos home in Lekki area, yesterday, preparations for his trip were in top gear with his aides putting finishing touches, while he was on hand to issue instructions. A revered world of a paramount ruler of world class revolved round his youthful mien.
Ooni-designate, Enitan Ogunwusi, sources said, may be received at Ife end of Ibadan expressway, with an informed source saying the Ifa Oracle was being consulted to determine the best day for him to enter the town.

At Ile-Ife, the King-makers and members of the Isoro were said to be preparing to receive him and commence the rites as soon as he arrived.
Meanwhile, there was celebration in the town yesterday, particularly among members of the Giesi ruling house where the new monarch comes from.

Although the town was calm and people went about their businesses, trucks of soldiers were seen driving through the streets with sirens blaring, while policemen and officials of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps manned strategic places.

The Ile Oodua, which is the palace of the Ooni, was said to be manned by armed security men, with an armoured personnel carrier stationed there.

“The Kabiyesi will officially arrive Ife tomorrow (today) and the king-makers and members of the Isoro will take it up from there,” Adelowo Ogunleye, Secretary of the Giesi Ruling House was quoted as saying.

“We do not know how long it will take before that process will be concluded, but that will be left for both the king-makers and the Kabiyesi.”
He also revealed that the new Ooni who is based in Lagos, will not approach the palace on his arrival until the rituals were concluded.
Mr. Ogunleye ruled out any further controversies, saying there was jubilation all over the town and the opposing families had been calling to congratulate the family.

From cradle of Yoruba race

Vanguard was at Ile-Ife, yesterday, from where it brought reports of developments on the new choice of Ooni.

How 41-yr-old Enitan Ogunwusi emerged 51st Ooni

There was wide jubilation in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, yesterday, following the announcement by Osun State Government that Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Ojaja Family unit from Giesi Ruling House has emerged as the Ooni-designate.

The Giesi Ruling House last occupied the throne of Ooni when the revered warrior, Derin Ologbenla, reigned in the late 18th century.
Shedding more light to newsmen on how Prince Ogunwusi emerged as the 51st Ooni of Ife at the residence of Pa Ropo Ogunwusi, biological father of the new monarch, chairman of Ife Central Local Government Area of Osun State, Dr. Taiwo Olaiya, said all political office holders in Ile-Ife and the king-makers arrived at his choice after considering some qualities that stood him out among the 43 princes that vied for the vacant stool.

Olaiya said the new Ooni’s impressive records in the field of business endeared him to all the people involved in the selection process, adding that the need to quickly industrialize the ancient city of Ife and provide jobs for many youths was considered in his choice.

He added that Ogunwusi’s understanding of the Yoruba culture, despite being widely travelled and his generosity, even when he had not shown interest in becoming Ooni, also worked in his favour.
According to him: “Enitan Ogunwusi also displayed unmatched humility and calmness that was hard to come by among all the contestants, saying the fact that the business tycoon made his money without being linked to any party or government also counted in his favour.”
He was destined to be great
— Father

In his remarks, the father of the Ooni-designate, Pa Ropo John Ogunwusi, said before his birth, a man of God had predicted that Enitan would be great in life and achieve unprecedented success.

Pa Ogunwusi, who retired at Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, OSBC, added that he started noticing pointers to the coming into fruition of the prophesies, when Enitan started making headway in business.

Prince Ogunwusi described his son as a promising child who has been predestined to take Ile Ife to a greater height. He said his son becoming a traditional ruler was a dream come true.

He told newsmen that he had ceased being his father the moment Enitan was announced as Ooni-designate.
Prince Ropo Ogunwusi, added that it was God that made it possible for his son to be chosen as the new Ooni.

He also recalled that his grand father, while alive, used to call the new monarch ‘ Ooni Adeyeye’, saying he was happy that it came to pass.
He appealed to the people to join hands with his son to move the state and the town forward.

Also speaking at the palace, the head of the kingmakers and the Lowa Adimula of Ife, High Chief Joseph Ijaodola said the process leading to the coronation of the new Ooni had commenced.

High Chief Ijaodola, who maintained that all the candidates were thoroughly screened before coming up with Enitan Ogunwusi, congratulated people of Ife on the development and prayed for peace during his reign.

The Jaaran of Ile-Ife, High Chief Kola Adeyeye stressed the need for all remaining contenders to join hands with the Ooni-elect for the upliftment of the ancient town.

Though security operatives were stationed in strategic places in the town to forestall breakdown of law and order that may arise, jubilation was also noticed in many places including the house of the father of the new Ooni-elect.

Speaking to newsmen inside Ile Oodua, Ooni’s palace, the head of Isoro Cult and head of all deities in Ife land, the Obadio Oduduwa, Oba Olajide Ifaloba, said the emergence of Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi was “divine” and appealed to those that contested the throne with him to see his choice as “product of grace”, demanding total support from all stakeholders in the town in the interest of peace.

Ifaloba allayed fears that human sacrifice may be done as part of rites before installation of new the monarch, but added that rites that would be performed would be done mostly at night.

“We rejoice with him and thank the Creator for giving us a monarch in his class. Those that vied for the throne with him must now see Oba Enitan as father that must be supported to lift Ife. We pray for him, a long life and good health to administer the town and the entire Yoruba land”, Chief Ifaloba said.

Commenting in similar vein, Chief Olaolu Dada, Arole Obatala Agbaye, said the announcement of Ooni-designate signalled commencement of new set of rites that must be performed before the new monarch can sit on the throne.

Late Ooni Sijuwade’s spirit to be ‘chased’ out of palace this week

He said the spirit of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade was still lurking around the palace, saying it must be chased out first to allow the new monarch have a peaceful reign.

He, however, urged all residents and visitors to the town not to panic, stressing that all rites that would be performed would not affect businesses or movements within Ife metropolis.

Giving insights into how the new monarch would be installed, Oba Isoro, Eluyele Olawenu, Owa Eredumi of Ife, said the first step, after royal entrance of the new monarch into the town today, would be for him to proceed to his father’s compound from where he would move to Ilofi where rites would be performed for 21 days.

Oba Eluyele, who declined giving detailed information about the rites, said the new Ooni would have spent three months in Ilofi before his installation, but explained he would be spending 21 days instead because of the forthcoming Olojo Festival.
Oba Joseph Ijaodola, the Lowa of Ife and one of the two leading king-makers in Ile Ife, while speaking to newsmen, called on other contestants to be patient and support the new monarch.

Endorsement by Osun State Govt

The state government had in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, dated October 24, 2015 said the choice of the new Ooni followed due process.

The three-paragraph statement, titled Appointment of a New Ooni read: “The governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has approved the appointment of a new Ooni of Ife.

“He is Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of the Giesi Ruling House of Ile-Ife, Osun State.
“This choice follows the completion of the due process by the kingmakers and the communication of their decision to the government”, the statement added.

Ife kingmakers call for support

The Ife King-makers, yesterday, urged indigenes of the ancient town to give their support to the newly appointed Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
High Chief Joseph Ijaodola, the Lowa Adimula of Ile-Ife, who made the call, also urged the people to allow peace to reign.
Ijaodola said a peaceful atmosphere and the support of the people was needed for the king-makers to perform the necessary rites for the installation of the new Ooni.

He said it was after the oracle was consulted that Ogunwusi was announced as the new Ooni.
Ijaodola pledged that all the king-makers would support the new Ooni and guide him aright in performing his royal duties.

Also speaking, High Chief Kola Adeyeye, the Jaaran of Ile-Ife, said Ogunwusi was the choice of the people.
Adeyeye said Ogunwusi’s competence, experience and good features stood him out among his equals.

Adeyeye also urged the people to give their support to the new Ooni.

Congratulatory messages

Congratulatory messages started pouring in for the new Arole Oodua, yesterday.

Work for national unity, Saraki tells Ooni-elect

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has enjoined the Ooni of Ife designate, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, to use his position to work for the consolidation of the unity of the country.

Saraki, in a congratulatory message to the Ooni designate, also advised him to concentrate on further solidifying the role of the Yoruba people in national unity.

In a statement by his Special Adviser,Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki wished the Ooni-elect a long and peaceful reign, sound health and many years of service to his people.

According to the Senate President, the Ooni-elect has so many things in common with the immediate past Ooni, which include but not limited to being widely travelled, being exposed, versatile, well-informed and somebody devoted to community service.

He noted that the appointment of Prince Ogunwusi could not have come at a better time.
He encouraged Oba-elect Ogunwusi to sustain the harmonious relationship between his subjects and other kingdoms around his domain as a way of building on the impeccable legacies of the late Oba Okunade Sijuade of blessed memory.

The Senate President also enjoined the new Ooni of Ife not to see his ascension to the throne of his forefathers as a mere fulfilment of a life-long ambition but rather a divine opportunity to use his vast knowledge and royal wisdom to positively improve on the well-being and living standard of his immediate subjects as well as uplifting the glory of the Yoruba race across the continent.

Saraki prayed that the legacy of peace, harmony, prosperity and steadfast progress which the Ife Kingdom has witnessed so far will endure and improve tremendously under Oba Ogunwusi.

He however tasked the new Ooni to continue to maintain the high sense of patriotism, unassailable piety and sterling leadership qualities which he is reputed for.

Saraki said: “May your ascension to the throne of your forebears mark the beginning of a new era of prosperity, peace, development and progress for your immediate subjects, the Yoruba race and the entire nation. It is my prayer that the people of Ife and the entire Yorubaland would find in you a rallying point for unity, peace and progress just like they did during the time of your predecessors.”

From Speaker Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, also congratulated the new Ooni of Ife, on his ascension to the throne.
In a congratulatory statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, Dogara said the role of traditional rulers in nation-building cannot be over-emphasised.

He said traditional institutions must be restored back their dignity, and returned to their rightful place in our society if Nigeria was to make any meaningful progress.

The Speaker urged the new Ooni to emulate the works of the late Oba Sijuwade whom he said left an indelible mark in the history of Nigeria as a peacemaker and a bridge between different peoples of the country.

While assuring of the cooperation of the House of Representatives, Dogara said the legislature was open to the wise counsel and invaluable support of the new Ooni in its quest to effect change and reposition our dear nation for enduring peace, security, accelerated growth and development.

“As you ascend the glorious revered throne of your fore-fathers, I join your family, the good people of the historic kingdom of Ife, friends and well-wishers to ask God to guide, guard and give you wisdom to lead,” he stated.

“I note that the position of Ooni carries with it authority, influence and power and therefore I urge Your Royal Magesty to rule with the fear of God and serve as a father to all”, Dogara remarked.

Dogara commended the Osun State Government for playing the role of a good umpire by ensuring a rancor-free selection and succession process.
The Speaker also appealed to the ruling houses in Ife and citizens of Kingdom to unite behind the new Ooni and give him the much needed support.

He reiterated the National Assembly’s resolve to accord the traditional Institution a Constitutional role in view of its strategic importance to the peace and unity of the country.

Gov Ambode too

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode also yesterday, congratulated Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on his appointment as the new Ooni of Ife.

Governor Ambode, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna admonished the new monarch to see his appointment as a call to service and to the upliftment of humanity.

While charging Ogunwusi to be courageous in his decisions, Governor Ambode urged him to see the unity of the Yoruba race as a priority.

While congratulating the family members of the new Ooni, the governor said they would have to bear with the demands of the job and support him morally, physically and spiritually.

Profile
The emergence of the 51st Ooni is coming three months after the passing away of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, former occupant, who died in London on July 28.

According to a press statement signed by Moshood Adeoti, secretary to the state government, the kingmakers of Ife had done all the necessary pre-requisites and communicated the choice of Ogunwusi to his office for approval. The new Ooni  of Ife is a 41-year old real estate entrepreneur.

He attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he obtained a Higher National Diploma, HND, in accountancy. He is currently the managing director of Howard Roark Gardens Limited, which is undertaking multi-million naira Jacob Mews Estate project in Yaba and the Lakeview real estate development in Lekki, all in Lagos.

Ogunwusi is on the board of Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited, (formerly GTHomes); GTBank Plc and FinaTrust Microfinance Bank Limited.

He is a member of several professional bodies including, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN; the Institute of Directors, IoD, Nigeria and Global Real Estate Institute, GRI.