By Elusogbon Dorcas
Ooni of Ile-Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) on Saturday received plaudits from President Muhammad Buhari, governors and prominent Nigerians, including traditional rulers.
The commendations came during the grand finale of ceremonies marking Ooni’s one year coronation anniversary held at ILE-OODUA white house palace.
Represented by the Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the president described the Ooni as a ‘wound-healer’ and a progressively-ordained personality.
“Ooni has healed the wound in our country by bringing together everybody. We know that a lot has gone into this. It is not a matter of age but the fact that you are blessed by the Almighty God to do so.
“We hope that in your many years on the throne, we will witness more advancement of the entire Yorubaland, Nigeria and everywhere we have Yoruba around the world.
“Many are celebrating you in Cuba , Brazil, America and all places where you have your children around. We appreciate your contribution to our development and we will continue to adore Your Majesty.” Buhari said.
The Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, remarked that the Ooni had performed beyond imagination within his one year on the throne.
“Looking back, it is almost unbelievable that you are just one year on the throne. You have impacted on the Ile-Ife city and the whole Nigeria. You have brought uncommon energy and creativity to the throne.
“You did not only preach peace but have also acted unity at both state and national levels. You have demonstrated how to use position as a leverage for youth empowerment.
“Everything you have done shows that you are well equipped to come to the throne to impact on lives. You have made us proud.
“You have fired our imagination on your one year on throne and we are ready to support you.” Mimiko said.
Anambra Governor, Mr Willie Obiano, commended the Ooni for extending partnership to the Igbo and urged him to intensify the unity between the Yoruba and the Igbo.
“Since Ooni emerged, I have enjoyed great support from Yorubas and I pray that his reign will be the longest on the throne. I commend what you did to the youth by supporting them to be entrepreneurs.
”I am here to consolidate and deepen the Igbo-Yoruba unity. I am happy that Yorubas living in Anambra are very happy with us.
“I believe in Nigeria’s unity and we should all work hard to make it work. I want our relationship to blossom,” Obiano said.
While emphasising the importance of traditional rulers in the administration of any state, Obiano also recommended cutting of taxes as a way to mitigate the effect of recession on investors.
“The traditional rulers are very important in the administration of the state. They are very important in settling disputes,” he added.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, urged the Ooni to sensitise indigenes of Ile-ife to the importance of security.
“Enlightening them to be security conscious will enhance the sustenance of your good legacies,” he said.
Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, said the Ooni had served as a source of inspiration for him and other progressive minded traditional rulers in Yorubaland.
Aladelusi described Ooni as the father of all Yoruba people in Nigeria and globally.
“The unity of traditional rulers as emphasised by Ooni is important. We need it and we are always inspired by his style of leadership.
“He has indeed lived up to expectations as our spiritual leader, nobody can take this away from you no matter what they do,” Deji said.
Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, expressed delight over the “progressive moves” Ooni Ogunwusi had made.
“Your Imperial Majesty, we in the North are so proud of your leadership and bridge-building moves in the last one year, it’s been progressive “. Etsu said.
Osile of Okeona of Egbaland, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, advised Ooni not to relent on his progressive agenda, adding: “His one year is just like a thousand.
“kabiyesi, please don’t relent on this progressive agenda that you have been enviably executing in the last one year which is just like a thousand years.
“The rate of advancement and progress recorded since you ascended this sacred throne of Oduduwa is marvellous,” Osile said.
Also Obi of Onitsa, Nnaemeka Achebe, appealed to all traditional rulers in Nigeria to cooperate with Ooni in ensuring unity.
“Your Majesty, I bring you goodwill from across the Niger from all Igbos. we have seen how you bring real change and solve challenges that seem impossible in a year.
“Your feet shows that when God puts the crown on you, no human being can take it away. Collectively, with a person like you, we will achieve the real change that we have been looking for., Obi said.
Reacting, the Ooni commended the dignitaries that attended the occasion and challenged traditional rulers and all well-meaning Nigerians to take the development of Nigeria as their core responsibility.
He said, “We should collaborate with government and stop the blame-game. We are closer to our people. Let’s work towards youth emancipation.
“It is very important to know our roles as traditional rulers and focus more on how to appreciate things that come out from this country.
“We should be able to help others with the money that God has provided for us. Let us help one another in our little ways. We should give the less-privileged hope. We should all come together, love ourselves and impact on the lives of others.”
Other dignitaries included Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo.
The event also featured the presentation of cheques to youth groups participating in the Ooni’s agriculture entrepreneurship programme, which is supported by Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture.
Bank of Industry’s Managing Director, Mr Waheed Olagunju, and Bank of Agriculture’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr Adebayo Jemileyin, also attended.:)