*I Have No Competition with Anyone
By Tunde Oyekola in Osogbo
The new Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, has promised to build a new Yoruba nation where all traditional rulers will unite and promote unity among the ethnic group.
Speaking in Ile-Ife, Osun State on Monday shortly after receiving staff of office, Oba Ogunwusi, dedicated his staff to Nigerian youth and promised to liase with the people in leadership positions to fashion out ways that the teeming youthful population can be engaged.
The monarch stated that shortly after he was named Ooni-elect, he immediately commenced interfacing with monarchs across the country, declaring that during his reign, there would not be competition, stressing the need for a more united Yoruba nation.
“Shortly after I was named Ooni-elect, I sprang into action. I called my friend, Oba Saheed Elegushi, I spoke to Sultan of Sokoto. I also called Kabiyesi, Alaafin. I spoke to Awujale, Alake. I am prepared for the throne and this is not accidental.
“I am close to many monarchs and uniting them should not be a problem. It will be easy. No competition with anyone. And I want to announce to the entire world that new Yoruba nation is coming,” the monarch said.
On his programme for the youth, Ooni Ogunwusi said he had experimented with a model for youth empowerment in the last three weeks, with the employment of about 3,000 youths, which has in return reduced crime rate in the town.
The ancient city of Ile Ife stood still as the 51st Ooni, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Babatunde Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, was
presented with the staff of office and instrument of appointment.
The event held at Afewonro Park, Enuwa, had in attendance, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governors of Osun, Ogun, Oyo and
Lagos states. It came exactly 35 years and one day after the immediate-past Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuade was presented the staff of office.
In his goodwill message, Vice President Osinbajo, who represented President Mohammadu Buhari at the event, said the throne
of Ooni, being a deep and revered institution among the Yoruba people carries the responsibility of the race.
He told the new monarch to exercise courage, integrity and loyalty to truth and charged him to be virtuous and to use his position to work for the unity of the country.
He averred that Ile Ife is blessed to have a youthful monarch at the critical period in Nigeria history and prayed for the anointing of virtuous leadership as explained in the book of Ecclesiastes-Chapter 10 verses 16 and 17.
Speaking in similar vein, the Co-chairman of the National Traditional Council, His Eminence, Saad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, noted that the coming of Oba Ogunwusi to the throne was timely, saying the demand for recognition by youth should not be taken lightly.
The sultan said all traditional rulers in the country would give Ooni the needed support to lead the charge to get the youth positively engaged being one of them.
In his remarks, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola said the throne of Ooni comes will lots of privileges, calling on the
monarch to handle the responsibilities attached to the throne with 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 interests of his subjects.
According to the governor, new Ooni must mobilize his subjects to support government in its bid to implement its programme by enlightening them on the need to pay taxes.
“New Ooni must work towards fostering unity among his subjects across, not a unity that will be achieved through coercion. Your attitude will be the cardinal determinant of your success. Try to carry along all in decision making,” Aregbesola said.