FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for preserving the custom and culture of Yorubaland.
Obasanjo noted that within his one year on the throne, he had done a lot in enhancing peace and cooperation among the traditional rulers in the South-West.
Speaking during the one year coronation anniversary of Oba Ogunwusi, on Wednesday, held inside the Ile Oodua, where the monarch’s palace is located, he said: “I have been watching the Ooni with his transformation moves since his ascendancy on the throne. I have been studying his zeal for unification of all interests in Yoruba land with keen interest, and I commend him for that. I wish him long life on the throne and continuity of his good works.”
According to Obasanjo, “Yorubas have been yearning for a leader. Now, they have got it. Ooni’s one year on the throne of his forefathers has further enhanced the unity and collective interest of the Yoruba race and this exemplary leadership virtue deserves commendation.”
Speaking, the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, said the position of Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, who described Moremi Ajasoro as a traitor, not deserving any response.
He contended that “the position of Olugbo does not touch the reality on Moremi and does not deserve a response or not worthy of response.”
Soyinka maintained that nobody can claim to know the source of humanity, stressing that “there were divergent views on the source of humanity.”
Describing Ooni as the Yoruba’s reality, he maintained that the race’s culture had gone beyond speculation, just as he said “it is natural and spiritual. The historical status of Ile-Ife, as the cradle of mankind, remains incontrovertible and Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi is the reality of our time.”
While lauding Oba Ogunwusi’s pursuit of unity and cohesion among the Yoruba race, particularly among traditional rulers, Soyinka stated that “Ooni is sent on a mission. That mission is the unity of Yoruba race, including its culture and vision. We promise to support you in your resolve to build bridge of unity and peace among our people.”
Dignitaries who attended the event included Professor Olu Obafemi; Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi; Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi; Chief Shuaib Oyedokun; Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; Sat Guru Maharaji; General Jeremiah Oseni (retd); Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdul Ganiyu Ologunebi; Osun State deputy governor, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye Tomori, among others.