Prince Ogunwusi was on Monday named the 51st Ooni of Ife by Osun State government to succeed Oba Okunade Sijuwade who on July 28, 2015 joined his ancestors in a London hospital.
The Obadio of Ile-Ife and the head of Isoro cults, Oba Olajide Ifaloba said: “The Ooni-designate will arrive tomorrow (today) and this is authoritative”.
It was further learnt that all shops within the ancient town will be closed tomorrow as a mark of honour for the new Ooni.
Meanwhile, sources around Ile Oodua, the official Ooni’s palace informed Vanguard that the rites expected to precede entrance of an Ooni-designate into Ile Ife have been concluded, strengthening the royal entry expectation
The Oba Isoro, Oba Eluyele Olawenu, the Lowa Eredumi of Ile Ife, who according to the tradition will handle the installation rites of the monarch, earlier said only the Ifa oracle could determine the best time for him to enter the town.
According to the tradition of Ile Ife, Ooni does not only belong to Isoro cult but also manages its affairs with the help of Obadio, the head of all deities in the town.
It was learnt that members of Isoro cult held a crucial meeting to determine the form the installation rites would take, bearing in mind the approaching all-important Olojo festival.
Atmosphere in the ancient town of Ife remains calm with heavy security presence noticed in strategic areas of the town.
At the family house of the Oshinkola Ruling House, there was a police van parked with some armed policemen.
Commenting on the presence of the security men in the area, Sooko Adegbaju Adeyinka, said the family was adequately policed even before the announcement of new monarch.
New Ooni: Partner FG for peace and progress – Buhari
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged the new Ooni of Ife, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to partner with the Federal Government to achieve greater peace and progress in the country.
The President called on Prince Adeyeye to be prepared to put his new position as Ooni and principal custodian of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Yorubas to good use in the service of his people and country.
In a statement signed by Mr Femi Adesina, the president congratulated him on his emergence as the 51st Ooni of Ife and successor to the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
“As he prepares to begin the rites of ascension to the revered throne of his great ancestors, President Buhari urges the Ooni-designate to commit himself to carrying all his subjects along to a new era of peace, stability and progress in Ife, Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole.”
“President Buhari also urged the Ooni-designate to dedicate himself to building on, and surpassing the worthy legacies of his much-acclaimed predecessor, Oba Sijuwade, and working with government and other traditional rulers across the country to foster greater harmony, peaceful co-existence and faster socio-economic development of his people and all Nigerians.
As Prince Adeyeye ascends to the grand throne of the Ooni of Ife, the President prays that God Almighty will grant him the immense wisdom and courage he will require to oversee further progress and greater prosperity for his people.”
He wishes the new Ooni a long and highly successful reign in the service of his people and country.
More congratulatory messages
In a related development, Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, congratulated the people of Ile Ife especially, the Yoruba nation in particular and the good people of Osun State in general on the official announcement of a new Ooni of Ife.
The congratulatory message was contained in a statement by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, issued in Osogbo.
The party said with the state government finally announcing Adeyeye Ogunwusi as a successor to Oba Okunade Sijuwade, a new era has begun in the change paradigm that should incorporate the paramount Yoruba traditional institution into the dynamic renewal that is currently sweeping accross the country.
“We expect the Ooni-designate to drive the traditional institution with similar if not stronger zest and panache that Oba Sijuade deployed to promote culture, especially that of the Yoruba nation throughout the world.
“We have no doubt in our mind, the APC said, ‘that the choice of Ogunwusi as the new Ooni must have been based on his pedigree and antecedent and exalted achievement he has attained that would be of significant value to his reign as the paramount ruler in Yorubaland,” the statement reads.
Similarly, the Senator representing Osun East in the Senate and the Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Babajide Omoworare has congratulated Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on his nomination as the next Ooni of Ile-Ife.
In a statement by his media aide Mr. Tunde Dairo, Senator Omoworare prayed to God for good health and long life for Prince Ogunwusi.
He also prayed for a peaceful, thriving and prosperous reign for the people of Ile-Ife.