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Oba Enitan, the writer of fresh Yoruba history.

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“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.

The entered Enitan. His quite equanimity, humble and cerebral 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 Devine. 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.

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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.

Commissioning of seven coastal buses.

Within 100 days in office, what many elders of 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.

Ooni visit to HRH, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, Alaafin of Oyo.

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.

Ooni visit to Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona-Ogbagba II ‘AWUJALE’.

 

Ooni visit to His Royal Highness Oba, Micheal Aremu Gbadebo, Alake of Egbaland.

 

Ooni visit to Owa Obokun of Ijesa land.

 

Ooni, Oba Ogunwusi during a courtesy visit to Osile of Oke Ona.

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 I write, Oba Enitan is still writing new histories hitherto unthought of by most mortals.

Ooni extending his historical mission to Aso rock villa. Oba Ogunwusi discussing with President Muhammadu Buhari.

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.

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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 our Enitan belongs. 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”.

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.

Youths, congratulations! A good point of being made in Ife on behalf of the Youths by His Imperial Majesty Youths can do it. These are sound youths. Kabiyesi kie-pe (live long). Youths in Africa and young heir apparents globally have got a role model.

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 tradition in a clear vote for progress, unity, decency, nobility and positive changes.

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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 our great 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”. Ooni Adeyeye, thank God, your destiny and ideas came to light. Thank God for our King, Enitan, the writer of fresh Yoruba history of peace, unity and progress whose time has come. Thank you God for Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife. Once again, thank you God!

 

(C) Mega Icon Magazine.

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The untold story of legendary Obadoke Aare Latoosa | By Arowolo-Are Jubril

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Like many other Ibadan war lords and rulers, Mohammad Obadoke Aare Latoosa  was a native of Ilora, near Oyo. His father was Ore Orisa Oyatoosa while the mother bored Oyatooki. Both were river goddess worshippers. 

Being young and adventurous, Obadoke left his parents’ Bantu house of Okutuoje compound at Ilora for Ibadan in search of greener pastures.

Although, an altercation with a prominent Oyo ruler was said to have prompted this move.

On his arrival in Ibadan, Obadoke settled at a place around Oniyanrin-Nalende axis ( in the present Ibadan North Local Government), where he engaged in palm wine selling.

Obadoke was reputed to be versed in the knowledge of palm tree planting that he could tell the harvest period and profits with faultless precision!

Then, his palm wine selling exploits connected him with Beyioku Akere one of the promising warriors in Ibadan land. Akere later introduced him to Ogunmola who held the title of Bada under Iba Oluyole during the period.

During their meeting, Obadoke Oyatoosa’s bravery, confidence and war situation exploits impressed Ogunmola and he drafted Oyatoosa into his private army for which he later became the captain.

In the bid to have Obadoke Oyatoosa closer to him, Ogunmola settled him at a hill top which was then a dreaded forest that harbored a dangerous human eating lion! The choice of the hill top (now Oke Aare) was not particularly the making of Ogunmola who thought Obadoke could not survive the deadly animal. But Oyatoosa opted to settle in, regardless of any kind of threats!

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However, within the next few days, Obadoke caught the lion alive and took it on his shoulder to Ogunmola who was dazed with Oyatoosa’s bravery.

It’s interesting to know that Obadoke cut off the lion’s head and adopted it as one of his symbols of authority!

Having settled well at Oke Aare, he got married to Osubunmi, Ibeji and Moriola in succession but the unions were fruitless until after about 16 years when he had Sanusi as the first child. This happened after reverted to Islam and he believed that the change in religion influenced the birth of his son. There after, Obadoke adopted the name ‘Mohammad’ (Momodu in Yoruba pronunciation), with the aid of the then Emir of Ilorin, Abdul Salam who had earlier conquered Katunga, the capital of Old Oyo Empire with the fall of Afonja.

Since then, Mohammad Obadoke Oyatoosa never looked back. He was fully involved in many territorial conquests as the captain of Ogunmola’s private army from where he rose through the ranks until he got the ultimate title: Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.

He started on the leadership line with the title of Are-Ago Balogun during the reign of Baale Oyesile Olugbode, (1851-1864), Otun Seriki during the time of Bashorun Ogunmola, (1865-1867) and Otun Balogun during the short reigns of Balogun Beyioku Akere (1867-1870), and Baale Orowusi Awarun Ososo (1870-1871). Akere as the Balogun during the reign of Bashorun Ogunmola was to assume the Baale position after Ogunmola’s demise but he, (Akere) deferred it until after he must have won Oke Ogun war. Although, Akere won but he died after his victorious return and few days to his installation.

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To be continued…

 

Arowolo-Are Jubril,  journalist and media consultant, sent this piece from Ibadan, Oyo state.

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Ibadan 125 room-Irefin Palace to rival London’s Buckingham Palace, Oyo govt. boasts

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Oyo State government has disclosed that the historical Irefin Palace in Ibadan has been positioned to rival the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom as the State has entered into agreement with private partners to promote notable tourist sites.

The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated this recently while playing host to the Irefin Royal Family of Ibadan at his office.

The family held an historical significance of being the descendants of Oba Onirefin who built the biggest palace of 125 rooms in the history of Yorubaland, during his reign between 1912 to 1914.

Late Oba Onirefin was noted for his philanthropic efforts, especially in promotion of education as he was said to be the highest donor to the establishment of the popular Ibadan Grammar School where he donated 100 pounds and the land upon which the school was built.

Olatubosun boasted that the Seyi Makinde led government has turned away from the old style of neglecting tourism as a means of generating internal revenue and has adopted the public-private-partnership model to develop and promote major tourist sites in the State.

“We want to work with the Irefin Royal Family to bring more attention to the tourism potential of the palace and the significance of it to humanity, the palace is not just a structure, it symbolizes love, it symbolizes philanthropy.

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“The late Oba Onirefin was a giver and lover of educational development, that is why the State government will support the family to promote the palace to be as famous as the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, look at the number of people that troop to the U.K to see the palace among other sites, it will generate goodwill for the government and promote the tourism industry in the State.”

The leader of the family who doubled as the Coordinator of the Irefin Historical Palace Foundation, Prince Omokayode Ayinla Irefin said the family was happy with the stride of Oyo State government towards promoting the tourism sector in the State.

Omokayode said the Irefin Palace Heritage Tourism Development Foundation has entered into agreement with a foreign partner to train youths that are interested in tourism and send them abroad for the practical aspect of the job.

He, however called on other notable families in the State with historical potentials to emulate the Irefin Tourism foundation so as to diversify the State’s economy and gain more from foreign input into tourism.

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Oyo govt. expresses readiness to partner investors for tourist sites development

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Oyo State Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun has hinted that the state has tourism potentials that could yield enough income and also generate employment if private investors and corporate bodies could collaborate with the present administration to develop the tourism sites.

The commissioner who stated this during a courtesy visit by the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) to his office last last Monday, also added that the present government in the state was committed to partnering with groups, associations, corporate bodies and individuals who are into the development of culture and tourism potentials.

He said this was due to the fact that the state is blessed with diverse traditional elements and tourist sites which when utilised and harnessed, would attract investors, provide employment and increase the IGR of the state.

“It is no news that Oyo State possesses more traditional elements that always attract foreing and local interests as well as tourism sites that when, harnessed, will bring enough fund to the State and booster its IGR, countries like Israel, Kenya, Italy and others do not rely on petroleum to survive, they use tourism to drive revenue.

“We are replicating same in Oyo State and it shall be successful with conscious collaboration of corporate interests and organizational support for the government in the areas of revamping, redesigning and facelifting our major traditional programmes and tourist-attractive sites, Ado-Awaye suspended lake is one site that has no equal in Africa, even United Nations should show interest.

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“Governor Seyi Makinde has shown great interest in building the tourism industry to become a revenue-generating sector in the State, that is a quality of a leader that sees into the future and sees potentials for solutions where others are lamenting,” he said.

The Commissioner further assured the association of the state’s readiness to partner with the them in promoting the culture and tourist potentials around while also working together to promote the activities of the association through the Ministry’s various media platforms.

In his remarks, the Vice President Southwest Zone of FTAN, Otunba Ayo Olumoko, who spoke on behalf of the team expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception they got from the Ministry, saying that the association has been in existence in the past 23 years and has chapters of the association in all the 36 states of the federation.

Olumoko said the purpose of the visit was to acquaint the state government, through the Ministry, of their efforts at sanitizing the tourism industry in Nigeria and put in place a structured executive body in each state to oversee its activities in line with the mandate of the association.

He promised a robust relationship with Oyo State government through the Ministry so that activities in the tourism sector would not be hijacked by miscreants.

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