The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has called on political office holders to uphold the country’s cultural heritage at all times as they lead the nation.
Oba Ogunwusi said this during a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki at the Government House in Benin City on Monday.
According to him, the traditional institutions in the country would be willing to lend a helping hand to the government when called upon.
“We traditional rulers will continue to work with constituted authorities [and] you are one of them. And I can assure you that I am speaking on behalf of all our traditional members, we are not fighting with any constituted authority,” he said.
“We are not fighting and we will continue to work with you to make sure that things are right. What is key for us is for you, our political leaders, to uphold our heritage.
“I believe strongly that you stand for that too; that you will continue to uphold our heritage because you believe in the traditional institution of this country.”
On his part, Governor Obaseki reiterated the importance of traditional institutions, saying the country’s security challenges can be tackled effectively if the government carries traditional rulers along in their programmes.
“One of the biggest challenges that we have today is security. These challenges occur in specific domains. As they say, these bandits, criminals are not spirits,” he said.
“When people are kidnapped, they are taken to specific locations. Our people know them, they pass on the information to the authorities that is closest to them – traditional authorities.
“If we are going to tackle the security challenges that we have, the government must now work very closely with the traditional authorities. We are already doing that in Edo State and I can confirm that the results are bountiful.”
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has condemned the recent killings across the country, saying it’s time for the government to rise up to its responsibilities and bring an end to insecurity.
The monarch who spoke to Channels Television on the sideline of an event in Omuo Ekiti on Sunday also objected to some claims that the security situation in the country is exaggerated.
He stressed the need to halt the ugly trend, insisting that the Yoruba people will strongly protect their territory and flush out “external aggressors”.
“We in Yoruba land, we are prepared to defend our environment and send away all the bad residents. We call them men of the underworld because in the past they like to operate in the night but now they even come out during the day,” he said.
“Enough is enough, we’ll come together, make ourselves one, and protect our territory very well, I repeat, very very well.”
In the same tone, a member of the House of Representatives Femi Bamisile, who hosted some stakeholders at the event said: “For us, we are going to secure our own territory without a doubt. We must start from home before we start going out.
This comes on the heels of the death of the Mrs Funke Olakunrin, a daughter of the National Leader of the Pan Yoruba Socio-political group, Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti.
She was killed while she was travelling along the Benin-Ore Expressway at about 2:00 pm on Friday.
“The error that happened on the issue of the death of Fasoranti’s daughter will never repeat itself again in the south-west and by extension in Nigeria. Mark what I have said and see what we are taking into action,” Bamisile said in reaction.
Another Federal lawmaker, Shina Abiola-Peller believes vigilante groups will help out in the naughty security situation.
“I believe we need the vigilante as a primary source of information for our security system, and I’ll propose a bill towards that effect. We need a database for vigilante in the 8,692 wards in Nigeria.
“They are locals and they know the terrain more,” he said.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has debunked allegations of a rift between himself and the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi saying Yoruba traditional rulers are united and that unity will continue to reign.
The monarch said this on Thursday while presiding over the Osun State Traditional Rulers Council held at his palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The meeting had 75 Yoruba traditional rulers in attendance.
“What we have inherited from our forefathers must stay and unity will continue to reign in Yorubaland.
“We call this meeting to ensure that our cultural heritage is intact. Nothing can take away our heritage from us. I am here with my brother king (Oluwo of Iwo). We know him as Oluwo of Iwo; we don’t want to listen to rumours.
“South Western Nigeria is a mirror for Nigeria. We have a strong heritage, culture and tradition. Religion is not the basis of our coexistence in South Western Nigeria,” Ooni said.
Ooni, while addressing the traditional rulers emphasised the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence among traditional rulers and the importance of coordinating themselves in royal manners.
Also at the meeting, the Oluwo noted that the Ooni is the father of all Obas, and stressed that Ife remains the source of all kings.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has asked Nigerians to always respect the rights of the weak, the vulnerable and the minority for peaceful coexistence.
The Emir made the call on Wednesday when visited the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at his place in Ile Ife, Osun State.
Accompanied by senior members of the Kano Emirate Council, he said he was in Ile Ife to formally congratulate the Ooni on his ascension to the throne of his forefathers, and to appreciate him for his fatherly role in the recent communal crisis in Ile Ife.
Agents Of Peace
“I was here as a prince a couple of years ago in company of my late father, Emir Ado Bayero, during the 30th coronation anniversary of the late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II. As a prince, I had always felt welcome in this palace and today, on arriving here, I have received the same welcome as a member of this royal family.
“It is indeed remarkable and we thank Allah for the way he does his things, because the relationship between our two predecessors which was critical to building bridges across the Niger and unifying the people of this country has continued with us, and I hope we will keep being agents of peace and unity for our great country,” the visiting monarch said.
“My visit here today is a happy and sad one. It is a happy one because it is an opportunity for me to come and formally congratulate you on your enthronement, and it is a sad one because it is in connection with the sad incident that occurred in Ile-Ife recently.
“I know many people from the north have been complaining that I have been quiet on this matter, let me say that the moment this sad incident happened, His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife reached out to me and Sultan; both of us have reached out to Ooni on a number of times and we are satisfied with the fatherly way he has so far responded to the crisis, which we see as a confirmation that he is truly the father of all in Yorubaland irrespective of tribes and religion.
“And we felt that so long the Ooni was doing everything humanly possible to stabilise the situation, there was no need for anyone of us to make any statement that could worsen the situation. Let me also add that I was to be here with the Sultan, but he has had to travel and he has asked me to represent him and all the Northern traditional rulers.
“I on behalf of Sultan and the other Emirs, commiserate with you over the sad incident. You showed indeed that everyone in Ife is your subject, which is the way it should be. The family we come from and the institution we represent are institutions that take responsibility for protecting the lives, property and dignity of our people living within their jurisdiction irrespective of where they are from. We thank you for playing that role,” he added.
Sanusi also commended the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, for setting up a commission of inquiry to look into the matter and immediate cause of the incident and to recommend appropriately, saying “our relationship in the country is such that safety in one place is safety everywhere”.
A Detribalised Nigerian
In his remarks, Ooni Ogunwusi thanked the Emir whom he described as a perfect gentleman, and expressed satisfaction with the reaction of the northern leaders over the ugly incident.
“When you are talking of intellectuals in Africa, Emir Sanusi is actually a force to reckon with. I have always had tremendous respect for him. Thank you Your Highness for this historic visit. You are a detribalised Nigerian who has always shown love to members of other tribes. My love for you dates back to when you were Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, as your courage of calling a spade a spade actually drew my attention to you.
“You and I met in the UK and we had intensive conversation as regards the crisis and the need to strengthen the unity of all Nigerians. That meeting played a significant role in finally dousing the tension. You are indeed part of us in Ile-Oodua and we are also part of the Kano Emirate. Our prayer therefore, is that our relationship will continue to wax stronger,” he said.
The Yoruba monarch also appreciated the Osun State Government for its demonstration of love and responsibility during the crisis.
“The State Government of Osun has played its role very responsibly by swiftly rising to the occasion, and severally visiting the affected areas with solidarity and donation of cash and other relieve materials. Same goes with us here at the palace, Ife prominent indigenes and all the Yoruba leaders of thought.
“We have been doing this just to give them the assurance that we are one big family and I have since been working perfectly with the Sultan and the Emirs for the sustenance of the peace that we have restored after the crisis,” he said.
After presenting the Emir with an artwork gift representing the cultural diversity in Nigeria and the unity of the people, Ooni Ogunwusi and his chiefs led the Emir and his entourage on a visit to the Hausa community at the Sabo area of the town, where they both had a brief meeting with Seriki Hausa and his people.
The last may not have been heard of the recent communal clash in the ancient city of Ile Ife, as reactions continue to trail the handling of investigations by the Police.
While one of the leaders of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr Ayo Adebanjo, faults what he calls the “selective arrests made by the Police”, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, is calling for restrain on the matter.
While the Ooni Of Ife received Yoruba leaders at his palace in Osun State, the monarch wasted no time advising against the use of words capable of inciting people.
He said rather than resort to bulk passing on who or what led to the clash between the Yoruba and Hausa communities, those in positions of authority should concentrate on engaging the youths in gainful employment.
Need For Mutual Cohesion
The monarch noted that the usage of inflammatory statements could ignite chaos in other parts of the country, warning that the issue should not be politicised as Nigeria belongs to everybody irrespective of tribe or language.
He said there are thousands of Yoruba extraction in the North, as well as many of the northerners in the South-west and other parts of the South, which necessitated the need for mutual cohesion.
The Ooni of Ife described the South-west region as the least volatile and peaceful among many cities of the world, where Muslims and Christians live without acrimony for centuries.
“I want to thank and appreciate the efforts of Afenifere and their concern over this issue, they are part of us and I hold them in high esteem.
Where Were The Politicians?
”What happened in Ife is very unfortunate and I want to appeal to all youths that it should not be turned into politics; they should be very mindful of everything happening, they should all focus on youth emancipation and the welfare of the youth.
“The questions I want to ask the youths, irrespective of the tribe be it Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo; where were the politicians before now, did they ever come to Sabo before the incident, why are they coming now? So it’s very important for us to read between the lines.
“Every victim of that incident were all youths, so we should focus on how each and every youth will have gainful employment, it’s very important for us to live in peace and have peaceful coexistence.
“We Yorubas have people living in the north and we don’t want reprisal attacks, we should be patient. There is a lot of virtue in patience and we should all focus on how our lives will be better.
“Let’s ask our leaders to be accountable, enough of using youths for violence and other things that are not good in the society. So we should read between the lines and look beyond that, I believe the system will take care of the matter and I believe justice will be done at the end of the day,” Oba Ogunwusi said.
A Northern Police
Speaking to journalists after the visit, Mr Adebanjo said Afenifere felt the Police were biased in the arrest of some of the suspects indicted by the investigative panel set up by the Inspector General of Police.
He urged the Police to ensure justice and fair hearing in the discharge of their civic duties throughout the investigation.
“What we are emphasizing is that the Police are making it an ethnic cleansing. These people have been living together for over 100 years and even when there was local crisis among the community here, they didn’t touch them.
“I would have expected an independent police team to come here and find out as we are doing, we have never fought here. We have been accusing the Police as being a northern police, we have always been saying it and that is why we are clamouring for regional police.
“How can you say two people are fighting and the two of them sustained injuries and you arrest one? That is our complaint.
“Our complaint is not that they arrested those who are criminal, a criminal must be arrested but not on one side, that is not justice,” Adebanjo said.
The Afenifere delegation also visited the Yoruba and Hausa communities affected by the crisis to commiserate with their leaders.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has set up a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to look into causes of the recent communal clash that occurred in Sabo Area, in Ile ife.
Addressing journalists in Osun State, President of the Ife Progressive Forum, Awowoyin Lawrence, said the committee is also expected to come up with ideas to prevent a future occurrence of such mayhem.
The leader of the Hausa community in Ile Ife, Mahmud Madagali, who is a member of the reconciliation committee, spoke on the helplessness of his people in the aftermath of the crisis.
Affected communities have been receiving relief materials to cushion the effect of the crisis.
The lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial District, Senator Babajide Omoworare, also visited some victims of the clash who were left behind.
According to Senator Omoworare, “what we have done in the interim is to assure both the Arewa community and the Yorubas in Sabo area that we are interested in peace and we are doing everything to get peace”.
He explained that the clash was caused by an altercation between a Yoruba woman and a Hausa man on Tuesday, and was consequently brought under control on the directive of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
The DCP said the incident left many homeless while goods worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar (II), has challenged Nigerian leaders to dwell more on the issues that bind the country rather than its division.
He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 31st National Quranic Competition in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, where the Senate President, Bukola Saraki also asked Muslims to live in harmony with others.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, also canvassed stronger collaboration between government and traditional institutions to foster national unity.
The monarch made the appeal in Abuja while delivering a lecture to participants of course 25 of the National Defense College.
Furthermore, he appealed to them to promote cultural heritage rather than religion which he says has divided Nigeria.
The Chief Medical Director of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, Prof Victor Adetiloye, has disclosed that the hospital recorded 14 successful open heart surgeries in 2016.
Adetiloye, made the disclosure while chatting with some journalists in his office in Ile-Ife, Osun state.
He said that the success story of the surgery operations were achieved based on the competence of the doctors they have on ground.
The CMD added that the medical experts presently serving in the hospital are of international standard as they were trained abroad.
Adetiloye explained that the routine surgery that people travel abroad to perform have been successfully handled and recorded with much success at a lesser cost in OAUTHC.
He appealed to Nigerians who are of the opinion that they must travel abroad before they can get solution to their health challenges that this can easily be done in OAUTHC, Ile-Ife.
In the same vein, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr Uvie Onokpoya stated that the condition of having a hole in heart which has three sections of surgery that people travel abroad to perform with over six million naira in India had been attended to by the medical experts with less than a million naira.
Onakpoya charged people who have medical challenges to always patronize the indigenous hospital, OAUTHC.
He added that people should first visit the hospital to examine the degree of their ailment whether it could be done in Ile-Ife teaching hospital, if not, such patient can seek a referral to other hospitals outside the country.
He explained that OAUTHC has modern equipment, coupled with well trained and highly skilled professional medical experts.
He said: “We would strive to do more of the open heart surgery this year, as it has been scheduled to begin very soon in OAUTHC, Ile-Ife.
“What we are doing here is to save people from financial and emotional embarrassment, wear and tear of the body for the people who travel abroad for such treatment.
“For instance people go overseas for minor surgery like anoraphy which is very common and can be successfully done here in OAUTHC without much stress with little amount.”
The management eulogised the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Sen Iyiola Omisore, Dr Themo Edmund, Dr Ramon Adedoyin and Feature Hope Foundation, based in UK, for their gesture toward the development of the hospital.
The hospital authority called on Nigerians to collaborate with the government to provide more modern equipment and to give training and retraining of medical personnel to alleviate health challenges that make people to run abroad for treatment.