Ile Ife, a historical town in Osun State, Nigeria, the past week witnessed the greatest splendor of an ancient traditional festival, as the Spiritual father of the Yoruba nation, Oonirisa, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja ll, rolled out the drums, leaving no stone unturned, to celebrate the annual Olojo festival.
The ancient town was flooded by natives from near and far, as well as tourists from all over the globe.
As the festival unveil reached its climax, the obviously excited Ooni looked around, gave a broad smile, and waved to the cheering crowd. He looked up to Olodumare and back to his people. He was later to beg all Yoruba people “I implore the whole race to rise and join me in this noble and epic journey”.
The Arole Od’ua, Oba Ogunwusi could hardly contain his excitement about the festival. He said, “The Olojo is one of my sacred callings from my forebears and a deep connection to fulfilling their compelling vision and dreams which are inevitably emblem in my royal mission”.
He added that “with my solemn duty of modernizing the Yoruba tradition while preserving its agelong richness, socio-cultural values, and economic significance, I implore the whole race to rise and join me in this noble and epic journey”.
Looking back a day after, the Ooni said “My eighth Olojo on the throne of my fathers was a unique and humbling experience. Olodumare in his infinite mercies granted grace and favor to me to adorn the oldest crown in the world”.
He continued, “My mission of blending tradition and modernity took yet another unique step in actualisation of the sacred assignment bestowed on me by my ancestors”.
“Through that same authority, I speak life to you all; As Ojo ti ojo ti di ojo, all your earnest prayers will be answered speedily”, he prayed for the whole Yoruba race. Ooni Ogunwusi stated repeatedly that he was “eternally grateful to carry the sacred crown of my forebears, a duty I do not take for granted”.
Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi had on Sunday (24 September) kick-started this year’s annual Olojo Festival celebrations by embarking on a 7-day spiritual seclusion in which he will be seeking the face of Almighty God (Olodumare) and ancestors of the land for the recovery of Nigeria’s economy and unity of the African people for prosperity.
The great Pan-African king who spoke to the press shortly before escorted on a procession to the ‘ILE MOLE’ ancient cult chamber located on Iremo road in Ile-Ife commended President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria over his sterling Pan-African speech recently during 78th UN General Assembly in the USA quoting him as saying “To the rest of the world, I say walk with us as true friends and partners. Africa is not a problem to be avoided nor is it to be pitied. Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future.”
Ooni called on the entire African continent people worldwide to unite and be peaceful for the development and desired economic liberation. He urged relevant stakeholders in Africa to prioritize the unity of the African continent, saying pan-Africanism is non-negotiable.
“President Bola Tinubu spoke very creditably well as a true Pan-African leader during the 78 edition of the UN General Assembly. I also respect Presidents Yoweri Museveni and William Ruto of Uganda and Kenya respectively for always consistently standing for Africa. I have met with them and we have always discussed African development.
“For the past 8 years that I have been on the throne of Oduduwa, anytime I go into seclusion, there is nothing I ask the ancestors that don’t come into fulfillment. Therefore, I can rest assured that this time around, the actualization of Pan-Africanism will come to reality. “Ooni said.
Ooni who lamented the suffering and hardship in Nigeria said there is a need for the ancestors to step in so that the administration of President Tinubu, will be the renewed hope in terms of friendly economic palliatives for the poor masses, good roads, uninterrupted power supply, affordable education, employment opportunities, and above all, actualisation of the ideological oneness that all sundry in Africa have been hoping for.
He charged government at all levels to be more sensitive to the plight of the people, also urging all and sundry to support the president so as to move the nation forward for stable national security and economic advancement.
"I will pray for the unity of Africa. Things are very hard. We all know the economic challenges that people are facing. "The issue of restiveness of our youths would not go beyond control before this are sensitive issues that we need to address before it goes out of hand. "My prayer also would be to pray for divine intervention for the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in order to turn things right because expectations of people are so high", Ooni stated
The Natural Head of the Oduduwa race worldwide who doubles as Co-chairman, the National Council Of Traditional Rulers Of Nigeria (NCTRN) praised President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil for his love for Africa saying the large turnout of the Afro-Brasilians and other diaspora Africans is an attestation that Olojo festival.is indeed a rallying point for connecting the Africans together.
Ooni Ogunwusi who was earlier this year hosted by the Brazilian President to unveil the African Religion ISESE Day in Brasilia, Brazil has also been hosted in recognition of his Pan-African initiative by several African leaders like President John Mahama of Ghana and King of Kumasi, Asantene Osei Tutu in 2016, President Ruto of Kenya in March this year and President Museveni of Uganda barely a month ago.
Alagba Afolayan Adebiyi writes from Lagos, Nigeria.
Images provided by AAA.
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