IJEBU-ODE, Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, yesterday, paid a historic visit to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, at his Palace in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
The Ooni is the first Ife monarch to officially visit Ijebu land since 1941 when Yoruba traditional rulers held a meeting in Ijebu-Ode.The visit was aimed at promoting unity among Yoruba monarchs.
Ooni Ogunwusi, who arrived Oba Adetona’s palace with a retinue of Ife kings, high chiefs and palace officials at about 1:15pm, in his speech harped on unity and cooperation among traditional rulers and people of Yoruba land.
The Ooni called for a replication of the kind of unity and cooperation that existed among traditional rulers in Yoruba land up till 1941 when Yoruba Obas held a joint meeting.
According to him, it was only through unity and cooperation that the traditional rulers in Yoruba land could achieve the best for their people.
The Ooni added that he was in Ijebu to learn from the Awujale who God has preserved for 56 years on the throne. He, therefore, expressed his readiness to move closer to the Ijebu monarch so as to strengthen better cooperation and unity among Yoruba traditional rulers.
The Ooni said: “The position God has put me today is not because of my power or might. It has pleased God to make me the Ooni in my youth. Therefore, I have resolved to come closer to the Awujale because since 1941 when Yoruba traditional rulers last met, we have not had any other joint meeting. This should not be so.”
“It is our culture to respect the elders and there is nothing better than that before God. God loves the Yoruba people so much that He gave us everything. But if we are not united, we won’t know our worth. God has blessed all of us in Yoruba land but it is through cooperation that we can achieve the best.”
The Ooni prayed for lasting peace throughout Yoruba land. “Yoruba must acknowledge its values and be in unity in order to develop and promote the Yoruba land.”
“I will be closer to Oba Adetona to solicit his support in the campaign of unity and peace I started. Our paramount aim is to speak the minds of our people and provide social amenities, “ he added.
In his response, the Awujale who was in company of scores of monarchs from various parts of Ijebu land praised the Ooni for his “relentless” pursuit of peace and unity amongst Yoruba traditional rulers since his ascension to the throne.
He, however, said the Ooni should be wary of sycophants and other various groups “hiding under the guise of championing the cause of the Yoruba.”
He also advised the Ooni to be cautious in his dealings with politicians, adding that he should remain apolitical and always act as a father to all his people regardless of their political leanings.
The Awujale stressed that only the existence of unity and cooperation amongst Yoruba traditional rulers would bring the desired development to the people across communities in the area.
“If we are united, we can achieve a lot for our people. But if we allow politicians to infiltrate and divide us, they will spoil everything. We should not as traditional rulers sell ourselves out because of pecuniary gains. That had happened in the past and caused disunity in Yoruba land. We should not be partial; the interest of our people should matter most to us,” he said.
Credit: Guardian (Nigeria)