The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has cautioned the people of Ekiti against acts of violence during Saturday’s governorship election in the state, saying if the election is bloody other states will be affected too.
He gave this admonition at his Ile-Oodua palace, Ile-Ife while hosting the British High-Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright.
The Ooni specifically urged the youths of the state to refuse to be used as agents of violence and criminality, saying they too have rights to occupy public offices of leadership.
“What I heard happening in Ekiti state during this electioneering period does not make me happy as their father. Enough of crisis, we do not want any crisis in Yorubaland. Where there is violence, progress and tranquility will be deprived, but where there is peace, there is progress.” Ooni stated.
“I specifically warn all youths in Ekiti state to maintain peaceful coexistence before, during and after the election, as brighter future awaits them if they productively discover themselves.’’
Arkwright, who is also the United Kingdom Chief Observer to Nigeria on the election in Ekiti, called for free, fair, credible and peaceful election on Saturday.
The British High Commissioner appealed to all to remain calm and shun electoral violence, saying crisis cannot add any value to the growth and development of the state.
Arkwright tasked all security agencies not to be biased, but should ensure they remain independent and maintain peaceful environment across the state for the electorates and the INEC officials.
While presenting a gift to the British Commissioner, Ogunwusi welcomed him to the cradle of Yoruba race which is the oldest race in the world. He explained that everything started from Ife Kingdom, saying continent of Africa belongs to all and sundry.
Ooni acknowledged him for his compassionate love and maintaining cordial relationship between the two countries, adding that he has positively contributed to the growth and development of Nigeria.
Earlier while presenting a gift to the Ooni, the High Commissioner admitted Africa as the source of mankind. He described Ooni as an international bridge builder who is well loved by the British people and the royal family.
“We are truly from here. Africa is the source. You are a global bridge builder. You are well loved in the UK. Your friend the queen loves you, Prince Charles loves you and the royal family love you. Please keep the good work,” the British envoy said
Dignitaries at the occasion include HRM, Oba Adesola Lawal, Laminisa 1, the Timi of Ede and founder of Esther Ajayi Foundation, Reverend Mother Esther Ajayi of the Love of Christ Church in London, UK.
The Timi of Ede, Oba Adesola Lawal, praised Ooni Ogunwusi for his relentless efforts toward taking Yoruba race to greater heights
“Your Majesty, you have really made us proud in Yorubaland. I have been with you to America and Brazil. Your love for the cultural and economic advancement of our race is unprecedented and commendable,” he said
Ajayi prayed for a violence-free election in Ekiti state on Saturday and that of Osun in September. She also prayed for peace in Nigeria and prayed for a continued mutually beneficial relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom.