The ancient city of Ile Ife stood still for several hours yesterday, as the Ooni-designate Prince Adeyeye Eniitan Ogunwusi made a triumphal entry into the town for the first time after been named the 51st Ooni of Ife by the Osun State government.
Shows Prince Ropo Ogunwusi father of the king leading Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi Ooni of ife to their family house at More quarters in Ile ife.
His arrival in the town signified the commencement of his installation rites in Ilofi where he will spend the next 21 days.
Ife erupted in wild jubilations as Prince Ogunwusi, entered the town in a motorcade of about 100 vehicles and rode in Bugatti 2015 model car.
Commercial activities in the ancient town were also grounded as shops and commercial banks were closed to customers.
The new Ooni who was decked in white lace material with purple cap and beads, continuously acknowledged cheers from the excited crowd, who had trooped out as early as 7am to catch a glimpse of him.
The new Ooni, who was received at Ajebanbele, Ife toll gate of Ife/Ibadan expressway made it to the venue where ceremonial formal hand over by his family to the palace chiefs was performed at around 2:30 pm.
Accompanied by friends and relations
Accompanied by friends and close relations, sources said the monarch took off from Monatan in Ibadan house of an elder of Giesi Ruling House few minutes past 11am and started the journey to Ife.
He was received at Asejire boundary of Osun and Oyo states by members of Giesi Ruling House and had another stop over at Sasa River where he performed the first traditional rite.
At Sasa River located at the border of Ife and Ibadan, Oba Ogunwusi, as part of rites before entering town, came out of his vehicle and trekked across the river.
Upon arriving at toll gate, Prince Ogunwusi, greeted his father, Pa Ropo Ogunwusi and was led by Prof. Adekanye Aderibigbe, to the high chiefs led by Lowa Adimula, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, and had a brief discussion before proceeding to Obalufe of Iremo’s palace where he observed spiritual feet washing.
He later moved to his family compound in Agbedegbede area, where he was installed as Sooko of Giesi in fulfilment of Ife tradition.
After his installation as Sooko, which was witnessed by the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Otunba Oyewole Fashawe among others, Ogunwusi proceeded to Igbo Oro where more traditional rites where performed.
He is expected to end the day at Ilofi to begin the rites that will last for 21 days before he will be installed with the Obadio, the leader of Isoro cult taking charge of his rites of installation.
Speaking to newsmen at the venue of Ooni’s installation as Sooko, Secretary to the Giesi ruling house, Adekunle Adelowo Ogunleye, noted that the reign of the new Ooni would bring about industrialisation and youth employment to the ancient city.
Regarding litigation in court, Ogunleye said warm reception given to the monarch showed there was no more agitation and that justice has been done.
Commenting in similar vein, Head of Sookos of the Lafogido Ruling House, Walomo Adeleke Adewoyin disclosed that the court matter was over since Prince Ogunwusi had been unanimously chosen.
He said: “We won’t go to court to stop the choice of Ooni. We can only appeal to Osun government to look into the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy declaration to avoid future litigation. After this Ooni, its Lafogido’s turn.”
Meanwhile, Ife Development Board, IDB, in a statement signed by its president on behalf of members and entire indigenes of the town, has congratulated the Ooni-designate, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on his selection as the new Ooni.
A statement jointly signed by the president and the executive secretary of the board, Prof. Muib Opeloye, and Mr. Kola Adetunbi, respectively, also felicitated with Giesi Ruling House, Ife kingmakers and entire sons and daughters on the joyous occasion and prayed that God should grant the new monarch Solomonic wisdom to handle the task ahead.
NGF calls for synergy with govt
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, has called for a strong synergy between governments and traditional institutions, saying this will advance the course of the common man and the development of the country.
The forum also urged the new Ooni to emulate the works of his predecessor, the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade who passed away on July 28, in a London Hospital.
A statement signed by chairman of NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, described the late Sijuwade as a peaceful man and a bridge builder who left an indelible mark in the sands of time.
Consequently, the NGF urged the incoming monarch to use his position to further solidify the role of the Yoruba people in ensuring peace and development in the country as he mounts the exalted throne.
Yari charged the new Ooni to use his position to enhance the bond of unity that exists among the Yorubas and other traditional rulers in the Western Region and the country generally.
He assured that the forum would continue to tap from the wise counsel and invaluable support of the Ife kingdom in its pursuit to effect change and deliver true democracy dividends to the people.
His social conduct, career gratifying —TUC
Also, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has congratulated the new Ooni of Ife, saying; “We find the fact that he is of relatively young age and has never been found wanting in his social conduct and career particularly gratifying.”
TUC in a statement by its President and Secretary General, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Musa Lawal, respectively, insisted that the role of traditional rulers in nation-building could not be over-emphasised, stressing that the Ooni of Ife throne was notable and highly revered as one that wielded much influence, and exuded much wisdom and courage, all of which were fundamental attributes of quality leadership.
Ekiti House too
The Ekiti State House of Assembly has congratulated the new Ooni of Ife, on his selection to succeed the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade as 51st monarch of the ancient town.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Kola Oluwawole, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Stephen Gbadamosi, noted that the ascension of Ogunwusi to his forefathers’ throne was purely an act of God.
Brief Profile of Ooni-elect, Adeyeye Ogunwusi
Forty-one years ago in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, a prince was born into the Giesi Ruling House, Ojaja Royal Compound of Agbedegbede in Ile-Ife.
He was named Adeyeye Enitan.
Many years before the birth of the young prince, it was predicted that a child of prominence that would impact the lives of mankind would be born into the family at exactly 1pm. Indeed, Adeyeye was born at exactly 1pm on a Thursday, October 17, 1974.
With the news of the arrival of a new born prince, he was specifically named Adeyeye by his grandfather, Pa. Joseph Olagbaju Adewole Ogunwusi Jnr. The name Adeyeye in English translates to ‘A Crown Befitting for a King.’ Pa Ogunwusi on setting his eyes on the new born prince began to call him Adeyeye Ooni from that very day till he passed away.
The young prince’s late mother also named him Enitan which in English translates to ‘A child of great story.’
Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is the 5th direct descendant of the Giesi Ruling Family (Ooni Ojaja Orarigba – Ayikiti ninu Aran) reigned from 1878-1880, he was the 44th Ooni of Ile-Ife to rule.
He begat Adegosan Adewole Ogunwusi, who was an extremely powerful prince in Ile-Ife and a war veteran that never lost any battle for Ile-Ife and the Yoruba race.
He begat Pa Joseph Olagbaju Adewole Ogunwusi (Jnr.), a very bold prince who took after his father.
He begat Prince John Oluropo Ogunwusi, a radio and television anchor and star presenter that spanned the entire mid-1980s to early 21st century in the South-Western part of Nigeria. He begat Prince Adeyeye Enitan.
Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi was quietly delivered into the humble family of Prince Ropo and late Margaret Wuraola Ogunwusi (Ile Opa family compound, Ile-Ife).
Prince Adeyeye is best described as an astute entrepreneur driven by turning impossibilities to ‘possibilities’. The young prince’s power of imagination has set him aside, hence, revolutionizing his approach to creativity and innovation. He is a distinct achiever with the conscience of youthful excellence.
The ambitious young prince with exceptional business ideas delved into Engineering, Procurement and Construction, EPC, locally and abroad for over 12 years. He is also actively involved in the development of over 2,500 housing units with various consortia of developers within the last 8 years.
Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi led the Government delegation to Canada in 2002 that promoted strategic alliances through a partnership with the Ondo State Government on solid mineral (Bitumen, Dimension Stones, Granite, etc.) potentials of the state, which gave rise to the formation of the ‘Amalgamated Mining and Exploration Company Limited’ – wholly owned by the Ondo State Government. In addition, he facilitated the development of Sparkwest Steel Galvanizing Plant (the only steel galvanizing plant in Nigeria), National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited and Jakura Mines resuscitation projects, which has eventually become the major limestone feedstock to Obajana Cement Plant in Kogi State, Nigeria.