How Ogunwusi was selected by kingmakers as new Ooni of Ife

Ooni-of-Ife-Enitan-OgunwunsiIfe kingmakers yesterday defended their choice of Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi as Ooni, saying they followed due process in picking him.

The Laadin of Ife Traditional Council, Chief Adetoye Olatunde Odewole, said there was no rancour during the process.
He debunked the claims of a ruling house that the process was “faulty and fraudulent”.

Sooko Adeleke Adewoyin of the Lafogido ruling house had described Ogunwusi’s selection as “faulty and fraudulent”, saying the family would soon come out with its position on the exercise.

But Odewole told reporters at the outer hall of the Ooni’s palace: “We followed due process by using the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration to pick a candidate from the Giesi Ruling House, which by that declaration is in line to produce the Ooni after the passing to glory of Oba Okunade Sijuwade. We also consulted Ifa oracle before all of us.

The 14 kingmakers unanimously voted for the candidacy of Prince Ogunwusi”.

Installation rites for the Ooni begin tomorrow in the ancient town.

Ogunwusi, 40, was named the 51st Ooni early yesterday by the Osun State government following the kingmakers’ recommendation.

He is expected in the town tomorrow following which he will move to Ilofi, for the start of the 21-day ritual that will terminate in his installation.

Ogunwusi was billed to arrive today but it was shift till tomorrow in order to put the Ilofi in shape for him, sources said.

The town erupted in jubilation following news that Prince Ogunwusi had been pciked from among the array of contestants from the Giesi royal family.

A jubilant crowd, carrying a large portrait of the prince, marched to his father’s residence on NTA Road, Mukoro area of the town, to share in the family’s joy.

His father, Prince Ropo Ogunwusi, said it was revealed to the family before the birth of the incoming Ooni, that he would become king.

According to him, Prince Adeyeye’s grand father always referred to him as “Ooni Adeyeye” during his life time.

He said out of his seven children, Adeyeye had always demonstrated special attributes that stood him out.

The Ooni’s father said his son would live his for the town, adding that the monarch would work for the peace, unity and progress of the people.

Former Special Adviser to Osun State governor on Youths, Sport and Special Needs, Biyi Odunlade, an indigene of Ife, told reporters that a new era had dawned in the ancient town with the selection of a youthful monarch.

Ogunwusi, he said, would be a revolutionary monarch, whose tenure will serve the best interest of everyone, particularly the youth. He urged members of the other ruling houses – Lafogido, Osinkola and Ogboru – to embarce peace and work together for Ife’s progress.

There was jubilation in Iremo, Moore towards NTA Road, Mukoro area of Ife, where the Ooni’s father lives.

Security agents were in strategic locations within the town. An Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) was stationed at Enuwa.

A family source said last night that relations, friends and well wishers from Ife will meet Ogunwusi at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, and accompany him in a motorcade to the ancient town tomorrow.

A source close to the kingmakers said the Ife Traditional Council was working with the government to ensure that the people troop out to receive Ogunwusi when he enters the town.

According to the source, a group of people led by some members of the traditional council will receive the Ooni at Asejire, the boundary between Osun and Oyo states on the Ibadan-Ife expressway.

Another contingent, led by some other members of the council, will receive him at Ajebandele area of the town along the same road. The place which is about 1,500 metres to the main gate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, symbolises the actual entrance to Ile-Ife.

From there, the people will move to the palace for an official welcome session.

It is not clear if the Ooni will be presented with his letter of appointment at the palace tomorrow.

The source did not also confirm if shops and offices will be closed in honour of the Ooni, but he said the Ife people and other residents will join traditional chiefs to welcome the Ooni as, according to him, “the entire town is in a joyous mood.”

Ogunwusi is expected in Ife between 11am and noon and will proceed to his family house before going to Ile Oduduwa about 50 metres from the Ooni’ Palace at Enuwa, where he is expected to stay and undergo some rites.

At Ile Oduduwa, he will be received by the traditional chiefs and priests for another rounds of rites and rituals expected to last 21 days at Ilofi.

It was gathered that the conventional 30 days period for the Ooni to stay in Ilofi before he will be eventually crowned has been reduced to 21 days.

The traditional chiefs and the priests were said to have resolved to reduce the days to 21 because they don’t want the installation of the Ooni to disrupt the Olojo festival billed for the end of next month.

An aspirant Prince Sikiru Adetona Ayedun, from the Moniki compound of the Giesi Ruling House, has congratulated the Ooni.

In a message yesterday, he wished him a memorable and eventful coronation in advance. He praised Governor Rauf Aregbesola for making the process crisis-free.

The kingmakers, Ayedun said, should also be praised for their unity of purpose.

Ile Ife, he noted, is greater than everybody and charged all to unite to uplift the town.

Adewoyin said the Lafogido ruling house would meet to discuss the development .

Adewoyin, who was the deputy of former Governor Adebisi Akande, said Lafogido could not fight government since it has accepted the kingmakers’ choice.

He said it was obvious that the government had gone against the wishes of the generality of the people of Ile-Ife, urging the people to remain calm. -Nigerianeye


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