ADEYEYE Ogunwusi, the newly-crowned Ooni of Ife, on Sunday, January 17, made a historic visit to Oyo, Oyo State to felicitate with Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo, who celebrated his 45th coronation anniversary.
Ogunwusi’s visit put to rest the 79-year-old supremacy conflict between the two Yoruba stools as he became the first Ooni to visit the Alaafin since 1937. The supremacy was even fiercer during the reign Okunade Sijuade, Ogunwusi’s predecessor in office as the Ooni.
Initially, there were some apprehensions at the Methodist Church, Apaara, Oyo, where the Alaafin coronation anniversary thanksgiving was held, when it was announced that the new Ooni was in Oyo town to celebrate with Alaafin.
Ogunwusi arrived at the church to the warm embrace of Adeyemi, who shook hands with him as the congregation watched and expressed admiration for the historic union.
Speaking on the visit, the Alaafin said it was the first by any Ife monarch since 1937. He also said that although he did not enjoy cordial relationship with the past Ife monarch, he related well with the other Yoruba traditional rulers. He used the occasion to commend Ogunwusi for his efforts to reconcile all Yoruba monarchs.
The Alaafin said: “May your reign be long, Ooni. I am happy with Ooni Ogunwusi’s moves to unite all Yoruba Obas. This special visit was done last in March 1937, that was the first time the kings in Yorubaland met in Oyo town. Today, history was made with the visit of Arole Oodua Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II and I feel delighted to host you and to reassure you that I will be ready to work with you.
“I had a close relationship with Ooni Adesoji Aderemi and I did not want to relent my bound with any Ooni of Ife that assumed the post, but everybody has his own little differences.”
In his speech, Ogunwusi said he recognised the place of the Oyo monarch in Yoruba history, adding that a new dawn had fallen on Yoruba monarchs and the people.
“I am here today though not invited but as the Arole Oduduwa, the onus is on me to felicitate with all sons and daughters wherever they are and to show my solidarity for any of them.
“I am ready to damn any consequences or insinuations from anywhere; my mission here is to preach peace among the Yoruba, both home and abroad and I am ready to work with the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Olayiwola Adeyemi, to project the unity and love which we believe is existing in the days of our forefathers.” Ooni said.
Titus Ilori Omoniyi, a right reverend and bishop of Oyo Diocese, who conducted the service, emphasised the need for the unity of the Yoruba nation, saying it would bring progress and development, which would in turn, lead to unprecedented progress to all nations.
After the service, the monarchs including Oba Ogunwusi and other well wishers moved to the Alaafin’s palace, where they were entertained. More than 100 Yoruba traditional rulers were on hand to witness the historic visit.
The two monarchs also had a private discussion in the inner chamber of the palace for about 20 minutes.
— Jan 18, 2016 @ 12:10 GMT