By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Recently, Ekiti State was agog for a historic visit of the foremost traditional ruler of the Yorubaland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ile-Ife.
Rather than have the monarchs in Ekiti, who, by tradition, are his subordinates, visit him at his palace in Ile-Ife, the humble Oba Ogunwusi, a recently crowned young monarch, had visited some first class monarchs in Ekiti, starting first with the Alara of Araamoko-Ekiti, Oba Adegoke Olu Adeyemi, Owa Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole in Ijero Ekiti and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe in Ado Ekiti.
The Ile Ife monarch was received by other royal father’s including the Olohan of Erijiyan Ekiti, Oba Adegoroye Omosebi; the Elerio of Erio Ekiti, Oba Johnson Bamigbade; the Olupole of Ipole-Iloro, Oba Babalola Oladele and the Onikogosi of Ikogosi Ekiti, Oba Elijah Olorunnisola at the Alara’s palace.
He was accompanied to Ekiti State by the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun and other traditional rulers in Ife land.
Oba Ogunwusi said he was happy to be in company of the Alara, the Orangun and the Ajero on the same day.
The Ooni said: “I thank God for the opportunity to come here today; we Obas are nothing before the Almighty God because God is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
“It is God who installs kings, he is the King today, tomorrow and forever. I am so happy to have the Orangun to my right and the Alara to my right and we are all going to see the Ajero together.
“Unity has come to Yoruba land, there is nothing like unity. It is my prayer that our youths will be gainfully employed, the barren will be fruitful and when there is unity, there will be development, things will go well.
“The new era in Yoruba land will bring good things to us, we want our youths to be empowered, businessmen and businesswomen to be prosperous in their businesses. Peace will reign in Aramoko, peace will reign in Ekiti, peace will reign in Yoruba land.”
The Ooni presented some traditional gifts to the Alara
Earlier in his welcome address, the Alara, Oba Adeyemi, congratulated the Ooni on his ascension to the throne of his forefathers wishing him a long and fruitful reign.
Oba Adeyemi said further: “The entire people of Southwest in particular and indeed Nigerians are deeply impressed by your (Ooni’s) campaign for love, unity and understanding among the Yoruba royal fathers rather than unhealthy competition for supremacy among Yoruba Obas.
“That was a notable step in the right direction I must say, without equivocation Your Imperial Majesty. You made a good start and an indelible mark. Equally highly impressive is your Youth Empowerment Programme through a focused agricultural revolution which is already making waves. Your Imperial Majesty, your widely acclaimed recent tour of the United States with a huge retinue of traditional rulers among others is a major boost for Yoruba culture and its sacred traditional institution.”
Wants herdsmen issue handled with tact
While he was being received by a huge crowd of Ekiti people at the amphitheatre of the palace of the Ewi of Ado, the Ooni advocated for tact in the handling of the threat posed by some herdsmen across the country especially in the South West region of the country.
Oba ogunwusi said we all could do with beef and therefore called for a careful handling of the threat and the reported cases of the destruction visited on some communities in Yorubaland.
According to him, the Grazing law recently signed to regulate grazing in Ekiti was welcome because Nigeria is a federation and Ekiti State was in a federation, but called for care in the handling of the issue because it could degenerate.
He said he was thrilled by the thousands of people that had trooped out to receive him at Aramoko, at the palace of the Alara, and at Ijero, as well as the palace of the Ajero and thanked the people for their cooperation and peace.
The packed arena was filled with people from all walks of life, including Governor Ayodele Fayose, his deputy, Dr. Kolapo Olubunmi Olusola, speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Pastor Kola Oluwawole among many other top government functionaries.
Oba Adejugbe expressed joy at the visit, and recalled that in 1937, Oba Adesoji Aderemi visited the Ewi; in 1980, Oba Olubuse II visited the Ewi and thanked God that in 2016, Oba Ogunwusi has visited.
“I am happy because the visits are not at close intervals and prayed for long life, unity and cooperation among the people of Yoruba land.”
Fayose commends Ooni
He particularly commended the Ooni for the meeting of traditional rulers he attended in Osogbo, which he said was a prerequite for the unity among Yoruba communities of the South West.
He charged him to continue in that stead so as to sustain the growing unity among Yoruba people.
Fayose expressed joy at the visit, saying it was a celebration of life, adding: “it is an event that so many people will live with for a very long time.”
He said “every palace you go to, you will find the same crowd because we are homogeneous and unique.”
“You are in a good position to unite us, it is not by accident, not by age but by the grace of God. We want you to remember that it is not politicians that are our buffer but the people. That is why I insist that an action against Tinubu is an action against the Yoruba nation.”
He further said “they are encroaching, they are threatening. Nothing must happen to Tinubu, nothing must happen to Falaye. This is how they killed our leaders in the past. This must not be allowed to continue.”
Urging the Ooni to continue his crusade for unity of the Yoruba nation, the governor said: “We want to appeal to you to remember that we all belong to you irrespective of political parties.
“They are harassing, they are depriving us of our legitimate rights. Those who toiled day and night are now victims of circumstances.
“Nothing must happen to Tinubu, Olu Falae. This is the way they started with Obafemi Awolowo and Pa Michael Ajasin.”
Fayose said the efforts of Ooni to unite the Yorubas had started yielding results.
He advised for leaders to avoid a situation that led to the rivalry between Awolowo and the late Samuel Akintola in the western region.
Fayose lamented that there was hunger in the land appealing to the Federal Government to evolve policies that will change things for better.
According to him, no leader is praised on the number of people incarcerated for corruption but the benefits and developments brought to the nation.
The governor also condemned the activities of herdsmen that were evading and destroying farm produce.”They asked us to go back to farming and released their cows to be eating our farms. Any cattle that destroys farm will be seized by the government,” he said.