In continuation of his peace efforts to unify the royalty across Yorubaland, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on Friday paid a historic visit to the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.
The visit of Ogunwusi would be the first time an Ife monarch would officially visit Ijebuland since 1941, when Yoruba traditional rulers held a meeting in Ijebu-Ode with the late Ooni, Oba Adesoji Aderemi in attendance.
The Ife monarch arrived Awujale’s Palace in Ijebu-Ode in an entourage of over 50, including Ife high chiefs as well as a number of palace entertainers.
The Ooni, who recently paid a ground-breaking to the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, repeated his call for unity and cooperation amongst traditional rulers and peoples of Yorubaland.
He called for a replication of the kind of unity and cooperation that existed amongst traditional rulers in Yorubaland up till 1941 when the royal fathers in the South-West last held a joint meeting.
Oba Ogunwusi emphasised that it was only through unity and cooperation that the traditional institution in Yorubaland could achieve the best for their people, adding that he was in Ijebuland to learn from the Awujale whom God has preserved for 56 years on the throne.
The monarch did not hide his readiness to move closer to the Ijebu monarch so as to foster better cooperation and unity amongst Yoruba traditional rulers.
“The position God has put me today is not because of my power or might. It has pleased God to make me the Ooni in my youth,” he said. “Therefore, I have resolved to come closer to the Awujale because since 1941 when Yoruba traditional rulers last met, we have not had any other joint meeting. This should not be so.
“It is our culture to respect the elders and there is nothing better than that before God. God loves the Yoruba people so much that He gave us everything. But if we are not united, we won’t know our worth. God has blessed all of us in Yorubaland but it is through cooperation we can achieve the best.”
The Awujale, who was also in company of over 15 monarchs from the various parts of Ijebuland, praised the Ooni for his relentless pursuit of peace and unity amongst Yoruba traditional rulers since his ascension of the throne.
The royal father used the occasion to advise his guest to be wary of sycophants and other various groups hiding under the guise of championing the cause of the Yoruba.
Awujale, in similar vein, told the Ooni to be cautious in his dealings with politicians, adding that he should remain apolitical and always act as a father to all his people regardless of their political leanings.
He emphasised that only the existence of unity and cooperation amongst Yoruba traditional rulers would bring the desired development to the people across communities in the area.
His words: “If we are united, we can achieve a lot for our people. But if we allow politicians to infiltrate and divide us, they will spoil everything. We should not as traditional rulers sell ourselves out because of pecuniary gains. That had happened in the past and caused disunity in Yorubaland. We should not be partial; the interest of our people should matter most to us’.