-Pomp and ceremony as Oba Ogunwusi receives staff of office
ILE-Ife (The Source) was agog on Monday, December 7, 2015, as the new Ooni of the ancient kingdom, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) was presented with the staff of office.
The elated and joyous Oba who pledged to continue from where his predecessor, late Oba Okunade Sijuwade stopped also dedicated the staff of office to the entire youth in the kingdom, Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on behalf of Giesi Ruling House that produced the Oba, a contender for the exalted crown and former Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Osun State, Prince Sikiru Ayedun expressed profound gratitude and appreciation to Almighty God for making the dream of the entire Giesi Family a reality after about 100 years that the family had produced Ooni last.
“First, we thank Almighty God for the success of the coronation. I appreciate Him personally for 100 years of Giesi Royal House’s dream of producing Ooni a reality. It was in the last 100 years that we produced Ooni. Now, God has done it again. Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is a pride to our family.
“We also thank the governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. We thank all the good people of Ife as a whole, especially the kingmakers. We also thank God for making the occasion peaceful. We equally appreciate God for the new era that has now come to Ife. We thank Almighty God for the mammoth turn out at the event which was very impressive.
“I personally wish the new Ooni a blessed and successful reign.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly also got across to Jaaran of Ife, High Chief Adekola Adeyeye, who also doubles as second-in-command to late Obalufe, Oba Solomon Omisakin and he also gave all the glory to God for the success of the historical event.
“We thank God for the success of today’s event. It’s not by our power as kingmakers but the power and grace of God and the good people of Ife Kingdom for their unflinching support and cooperation from the beginning to the end.
“We also appreciate and give our gratitude to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, all the traditional rulers present and sons and daughters of Ife Kingdom home and abroad. We wish our new Ooni a successful reign.”
On the alleged threat by Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran to shun the coronation alongside other top monarchs in the state, Chief Jaaran reacted, “It’s all rumour. He was there physically and all other Obas in the state were also in attendance. Everything was peaceful. We give glory to Almighty God for that.”
BLOW-BY-BLOW ACCOUNT OF THE HISTORICAL EVENT
The final coronation which held at Ile Oodua kicked off officially at around 12:14 p.m with National Anthem and Ife Special Anthem.
Before then, Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had arrived the venue around 11.45 a.m in company of Liberian Senate President, Amazola Gala.
Other dignitaries were ushered into the hall around 11.50 a.m amid tight security, especially at the entrance of the hall.
At exactly 12.08 p.m, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar II and Olu of Warri arrived and took their seats.
A minute later, the All Progressives Congress national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Osun governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola stormed the venue with their entourage. Their arrival actually caused a stir at the event.
At exactly 12.14 p.m, the National Anthem was sang followed by Ife Special Anthem which was emotionally chorused, especially by sons and daughters of the ancient kingdom.
At 12.45 p.m, a traditional artiste, Seyi Adedire took the centre stage and rendered poetic lines to usher in the Ooni.
By 12.54 p.m, the Ooni entered the arena amid cheers and gun salute. He walked in just as the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar was rounding off his goodwill message.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo read a message on behalf of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. The Vice President urged the new Ooni to be virtuous and ensure his ascension of the revered throne is not just for wealth and pleasure.
At 1.17, traditional and cultural dancers mounted the stage and they thrilled to high ecstasy till around 1.30 p.m when it was time for Governor Aregbesola to deliver his speech prior to the presentation of the staff of office.
By exactly 1.32, the governor rose to speak and was cheered with music and choruses by guests, especially Ife natives.
In his address, Governor Aregbesola expressed gratitude to God on the historic occasion. He also extolled the virtues of the past Oonis while stating the traditional role of the king as father of the people under him. The engineer turned politician also prayed for the peaceful and successful reign of the new monarch.
At exactly 1.48, the staff of office was handed over to Oba Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) by the governor.
The Ooni, at exactly 2.19 p.m, rose to give his royal speech and vote of thanks to all the people at the memorable occasion. He, however, dedicated the staff of office to the entire youth in the kingdom, Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole while he also pledged to surpass the record of his predecessor, Oba Okunade Sijuwade (Olubuse II).
The closing prayer was said by Alhaji Nasiru Akande.
Meanwhile, ahead Monday, December 7, 2015, grand finale of the coronation all schools in Ife had been closed. Markets also closed in honour of the new Oba.
Renovation of the palace and decoration of main streets in the town had been concluded few days to the event. Also, all roads leading to the palace from Ife Roundabout had been repaired to enable free flow of vehicles.
The ancient town, ENCOMIUM Weekly learnt had been witnessing influx of people from within and outside the country since the event was drawing closer.
A lot of social and cultural activities including cultural dances, fashion shows, symposium and much more which preceded the final coronation held on Monday, December 7, 2015.
Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi was on Monday, November 23, 2015, presented and crowned with Ade Are as the 51st Ooni to preside over the affairs of the ancient kingdom.
The crowning confirmed him as the substantial Ooni as against an Ooni-elect which he had been until his seclusion in Ilofi. Which, according to Chief Jaaran, High Chief Adekola Adeyeye has traditionally made Ogunwusi Ooni of Ife while the presentation of staff would only be to formalize the whole thing.
On Tuesday, July 28, 2015, the former Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade joined his ancestors and was buried according to tradition weeks after.
Oba Ogunwusi ascended the throne of his forefathers on Monday, November 23, 2015, and was presented the staff of office on Monday, December 7, 2015, by the governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.