Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola presenting the certificate of Office to the New Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, at the Enuwa Squre, Ile-Ife
The ancient city of Ile-Ife was in a celebratory mood yesterday when its 51st Ooni, Oba Babatunde Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, was formally installed and presented with the staff office by the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
Dignitaries who thronged the occasion included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State; Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, former Lagos governor, Senator Bola Tinubu; the Dein of Agbor, Benjamin Ikenchukwu, Keagborekuzi I; and former Defence Minister, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, among several other dignitaries and traditional rulers.
Speaking at the event, Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the throne of the Ooni of Ife, being a deep and revered institution among the Yoruba people carries the responsibility of the race.
He admonished the new monarch “to exercise courage, integrity and loyalty to truth and be virtuous and use his position to work for the unity of the country”.
He said Ile-Ife was blessed to have a youthful monarch at this critical period in Nigeria’s history and prayed for the anointing of virtuous leadership in accordance with the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.
The formal installation of the Ooni, which took place at the Afewonro park, Enuwa, came exactly 35 years and one day after the immediate past Ooni, the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was presented with the staff of office.
Presenting the certificate of office, Aregbesola said the throne of the Ooni comes with lots of privileges, and charged the monarch to handle the responsibilities with the fear of God and large heartedness.
He urged him to draw on the wisdom of the people by listening to them and advised him against pursuing naked personal interest at the expense of the larger interest of his subjects.
According to the governor, the new Ooni must mobilise his subjects to support government in its bid to implement its programmes by enlightening them on the need to pay taxes.
“The new Ooni must work towards fostering unity among his subjects across board; not a unity that will be achieved through coercion. Your attitude will be the cardinal determinant of your success and try to carry along all in decision making,” Aregbesola said.
Commenting shortly after receiving his staff of office, Oba Ogunwusi promised to usher in a new era to Ile-Ife and its environs. He said that the era of more opportunities for the youths would be championed through the mobilisation of all latent gifts of God to transform the community as well as the society at large with the assistance of God.
He also pledged to use his new office to pursue unity among the Yoruba race as well as other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
He however solicited for the cooperation and support of all and sundry in realising the lofty goals the Ife traditional stool has for the people.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, who led the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria (TRCN), pledged the total support of traditional rulers across the country for the new Ooni.