“It is not the years in a man’s life that counts, but the life in his years”- Abraham Lincoln.
When His Imperial Majesty, the current Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi was announced as the Ooni of Ife, what attracted most people to him was his unquestionable eye-catching youthful handsomeness.
However, it’s truism that many people also questioned the appropriate suitability of the new king fitting perfectly into the big shoes of his late predecessor, Oba Okunade Sijuade- a king of no mean stature who was massive, enormous and broad in wealth, influence and affluence.
Then entered Ooni Enitan. His quite equanimity, humble and celebral disposition silenced all co-contenders with him to the throne. He cut the picture that if you argue, quarrel or oppose this Enitan, equate opposing the Divine. Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi has been fated to be the king of Ife. Quietly, he entered the Iledi in his jaunty air of confidence performed and completed the traditional rites.
Even the deities would have been surprised about unusual regal frame and biblical Davidic disposition of the new “Arole Oduduwa”. This arguably would be one of the youngest to mount the highly prestigious traditional throne in South West Nigeria and everywhere the language of Yoruba is spoken and peoples of Yoruba race are mentioned.
Out of the Iledi, he came out unscathed, except that his visual visages changed. The handsomeness still beneath had suddenly been encrusted by some matured looks that showed up.
His official enthronement was well attended and his enchanting friendly aroma radiated like a million stars during the ceremony. His speeches were calculated, choicy and a leadership tutorial for many leaders occupying privileged positions.
Immediately, he commenced the reconstruction of a modern Ife city with a multi-billion dollar industrial park and he made no pretence that to give employment to the vast number of unemployed Ife sons and daughters was his priority.
Similarly, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi commissioned seven coastal buses worth N56m to ease inter-state transportation for the people of Ile-Ife and its environs.
This came as the traditional ruler also announced free medical treatment for the people of the ancient town. Oba Ogunwusi, who strongly believes in the principle of African-Nigerian excellence, while commissioning the made-in-Nigeria buses at his palace at Enuwa Square in Ile-Ife, urged Nigerians to patronise locally made products.
Within 100 days in office, what many elders of Ooni Enitan could not do over the years, he embarked on fostering the needed unity among Yoruba Obas.
His steps were strategic, managerial and majestic. First was a visit to Ikubabayeye, the Alaafin of Oyo uninvited on the Alaafin’s 45th anniversary on the throne of his forefathers. He became the first Ooni to visit Oyo town since 1937.
Next the mercurial unblemished Awujale of Ijebuland, the Alake of Egbaland, the Oba of Lagos, Owaobokun of Ijesaland, the Osile of Oke Ona, the war torn Modakeke -Ife and recently his visit to Deji of Akure.
Similarly, he extends his historical mission to Aso rock villa, Abuja where he underscores empowerment of the youth before Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari as his utmost concern. As we speak, Oba Enitan is still writing new histories hitherto unthought of by most mortals.
Kabiyesi Enitan has revealed an age-long secret. Sure, Baba Kabiyesi has rubbed minds with something, somebody, somehow greater than him in age and wisdom. Kudos to the government of the day.
Wrong people, misplaced in positions of authority have been the bane, albatross and cause of wars, retrogression and gross underdevelopment in black Africa. Palpable peace has been in Ife and Yoruba land because the process of getting Oba Enitan was not unduly manipulated.
Curiously, he knelt to worship the Almighty God in a church and some criticized Enitan. His critics must move to the higher levels of intellectual realities and the modern royal class and status this Enitan belongs.
Oba Adeyeye is not only the Ooni of Ife; he is an Aristocratic Arole of the modern Oduduwa dynasty. “Those who praise God, God raise them”.
Ooni Enitan is being raised as a global icon. Ife, congratulations. The kingmakers who were led to choosing Enitan as consensus king royal cannot be faulted, as at today. If it’s money, age, education or social influence considerations were the sole parameter (s) of choice, Enitan, perhaps may not be the choice other histories and negative observations contrary to the ones being glowing talked about would have been the order of the day.
Yorubaland. Congratulations! Great things are done in Yoruba land’s political, social, cultural, traditional sector (s) arguably, only with the involvement of every Ooni of Ife. Oba Enitan is carving a niche, rebranding the traditional in a clear vote for progress, unity, decency, nobility and positive changes.
Congratulations, Kabiyesi Enitan’s think-tank and ruling caucus. The saying in Yoruba is apt for you. That, “that’s dancing on the surface of the waters, the drummers are below the waters”. All great people supporting, advising and cooperating with “Arole Oduduwa”, well done. A tress does not make a forest. It is more worrisome to have a bad in-law than to have a bad wife. Well done, all great people close to King.
Your Imperial Majesty, please keep the monument on. Interestingly, the throne of the Ooni of Ife is in a class of its own that can be leveraged on every past Ooni’s, your forefathers, shined in their generations. You seem prepared for this throne ; be the change, regenerating a better Yoruba race script at all times, casting surreptitiously more beautiful acts and visions. Yorubas are generally thankful to their caring leaders.
It was Victor Marie Hugo who wrote “All the forces of the world are not as powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
Cited: Yomi Ayeleso