The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi(Ojaja II), accompanied by his amiable queen Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi(Yeyelua), on Friday 21st July 2016 admonished President John Mahama of Ghana and his government to prioritise the unity of Africans by relaxing policies that encourage the physical and mental boundary set between African countries by the colonial masters.
According to the press statement signed by the Director of Media and Public Affairs,
Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare, the globally acclaimed number one monarch in the continent emphasised that Africa must unite for prosperity as his mission is to promote peace, unity and progress of the black race.
Ooni Ogunwusi is on a four day visit to the West African country made this statement at the Flagstaff House Office of the President of Ghana during a courtesy call on President John Mahama in Accra.
“it’s my vision as Ooni Ife to promote unity, peace among African countries.”
Africa must unite to prosper
Emphasizing on the importance of African unity, Ooni of Ife who’s a descendent of Oduduwa believed to have been the root of all Yoruba race stressed that unity among African countries and blacks around the world is the key to Africa’s prosperity and peace.
He added: “As traditional leaders we are the custodians of culture and tradition, that’s why I have taken it upon myself to preach this gospel of peace, and unity. There’s strength in unity, and it’s time for Africa to go beyond lip service and unite”.
Ooni of Ife, commenting on the bond between the two countries, and the need to do more described Nigeria-Ghana as countries with similarities in culture and tradition.
“Also, we have Nigerian investors here, and Ghanaian businessmen in Nigeria, but Nigeria crave for more investors from Ghana to further boost economic integration between the two countries.
On his part, President John Mahama described himself as very lucky to be the 1st African president outside Nigeria to host the Formost African monarch who is globally known as “king of peace and unity”.
Mahama while thanking the Ooni for choosing Ghana as the first African country to benefit his gospel of peace and unity stressed the importance of traditional rulers in governance.
According to him, traditional rulers play a key role in ensuring peace and order in our society.
“Your Majesty, thank you so much for making me so lucky to be the first African leader to host you outside Nigeria as this will remain indelible in our minds of our people being the first African country eat from your pot of peace and unity. Here in Ghana, we partner with traditional rulers because our constitution recognizes traditional rulers, that’s why we have House of Chiefs, and this has really helped the nation keep its cultural heritage”.
President Mahama also spoke on the relationship between the two countries as very brotherly one encouraged positive contribution of Nigerian investors to Ghana economy as there lots of Nigerian investors in Ghana who are thriving in various fields such as Banking, Cement production, Insurance and more “this to a large extent depicts the peaceful co-existence and economic prosperity gains through such collaboration.
“Ghana and Nigeria have enjoyed brotherly relationship which is strategic. We have collaborated together in so many ways of course both of us having been colonized by Great Britain. This has helped us brothers not only on political matters but also on economy which is evident in the presence of Nigerian investors in Ghana’s economy especially banking, insurance, media, telecoms, cement productions. I once again thank the Ooni for taking interest in us which I believe will further cement the diplomatic and economic relationship between the two countries.”
In her vote of thanks, Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa who was part of the delegation praised president Mahama and the good people of Ghana for recognizing the Ooni’s peace and unity vision for Africa and Honouring the Nigerian king with so much befitting reception. She therefore advocated for a deeper bond between two countries.
While presenting gift to President Mahama, Ooni of Ife said the gift to Ghana represent peace, as the country prepares to go to election soon. President Mahama too presented a gift of applications to the Spiritual Head of Oduduwa race in return.
On the entourage of the Arole Oodua include notable Yoruba monarchs and Ife Highchiefs like Aseyin of Iseyin HIM Oba Abduganiyu Adekunle, Jegun of Okitipupa HRM Oba Adetoye Obatuga , Elerinmo of Erinmo-Ijesa HRM Oba Michael Ajayi Odunayo, Akogun of Ife Chief Muraina Adedoyin and Arode of Ife Chief Jimoh Awe.
Others are the SEA to President Buhari on Foreign Affairs Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, owner of NairaBet a Nigerian lottery company Ayo Ojuroye and wife Olasimbo, an ace broadcaster Modele Sarafa-Yusuf, SA to Ooni on Special Duties Akin Daodu, Senior Business Executive Jide Fadairo and a host of others.