By OLUSESAN LAOYE
When the Ooni of Ife Oba Enitan Ogunwusi the Ojaja 11 mounted the throne of the ancient town regarded as the cradle of the entire Yoruba race, people wondered how the young Oba would administer the throne that came to him surprisingly, though all princes are potential Kings.
Oba Ogunwusi baffled the people as a young monarch and one of the most highly respected traditional rulers in Nigeria. But he proved that he is capable and ready to rule and to a make mark like his predecessors: Sir Adesoji Aderemi and Oba Okunade Sijuwade the Olubuse, with the initial steps he took.
No doubt, he has proven to be an intelligent man; a man of peace who beloved the unity of the Yoruba race and the entire Nigeria by mending the age -long cracks among the traditional rulers in the Yoruba kingdom. He had established himself as a bridge builder. He has connected with other parts of the county to prove that Nigeria’s unity is indeed possible.
Oni has endeared himself to the hearts of his people in Yorubaland and the whole country. He has taken steps which has left no one in doubt that he is a man of mission and vision, who perhaps had the premonition of kingship and had prepared for it.
His present step of bringing the Yoruba youths together shows that he has a lot in his archives. With him now a rallying point among all Yoruba youth organisations is an indication that he is not only interested in their unity but want that unity to be a strong weapon that would build them for the leadership positions in the region and the entire Nigeria.
As he has said several times, the future of the region and the roles the youths would play in Nigeria depends on how strong they are at home.
He believes that the youths coming together as an entity would help in the liberation of their people and gives them a strong voice to demand for their rightful place in Nigeria and the rest of the world.
Although, all the Yoruba youths activities at the Ooni’s palace are cultural to close observers, issues tabled by these youths and the responses of the leaders and the monarch, go beyond mere cultural presentations but with strong political undertones.
These youths in their request before the Ooni always call on him to use his position to ensure that the Yoruba race is not marginalized in the scheme of things, politically and this may have even been the motive behind the recent statement of Oba Ogunwusi when one of the Yoruba Youth Organizations was in his palace that the Yoruba people would not in any way play a second fiddle in both political and other areas in Nigeria, an indication to show the position of the South West in 2023.
The bold steps which Oba Ogunwusi presently taken to unite the Yoruba youths and give them sense of belonging and awake them on the political future of the country, through the roles they are playing, has been commended not only among the youths but politicians, other traditional rulers, opinion leaders and elders in the region, who see this as a right step in the right direction and a move which would go a long way to build the youths for good leadership and governance, as all what are being done now, equally centre on morals and good behaviour.
That is why Oba Ogunwusi is always concern about the morals of the youths and lecturing them to free themselves from all vices and crimes, using himself as an example that if he had not been upright he won’t be occupying the exalted position he is today.
The president of the Yoruba council of Youth, one of the Yoruba youth organisations under the strong watchful eyes of the Ooni, Barrister Aremo Oladotun Hassan while speaking at the Omoluabi day at the palace of the Ooni, said that Ile Ife being the source of the Yoruba race could not be ignored and that is why whatever comes from the Ooni can never be ignored.
He said the reign of Oba Ogunwusi has brought unity and hope to the entire Yoruba Nation and Nigeria at large, saying, that the Ooni is an example of love, success and source of happiness to the youths. He pointed out that the Yoruba youths are happy that Oba Ogunwusi is ready to lead them to greater heights and leadership positions in Nigeria.
Hassan said that with the Ooni lending his voice, the government in Nigeria especially in the South West could totally achieve free education and free health while he said the oba and his colleagues are in the best position to compel the governments to reduced high fees being paid in schools. According to him, coming to the throne by Oba Ogunwusi, was divine because of the roles he is now playing to groom the youths.
He argued that it is treacherous for anyone to climb to power through the Yoruba and after, want to ignore “us” “and say the south west can’t be in power in 2023”.
The south west he argued has the structure and the foundation that qualifies it for the Presidency in 2023 and the Yoruba youths are ready to ensure that the Region occupies it.
He said that he would want Oba Ogunwusi to lead other Yoruba Obas and leaders for the unity of the Yoruba to speak with one voice so that a strong common candidate would be presented for the presidency in 2023.
Also, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola the immediate past governor of Osun state who was represented by his former Deputy Sooko Adewoyin at the the Omoluabi day pointed out that Oba ogunwusi should be commended for his leadership of Yoruba nation and his support for the government, saying that he is an epitome of good character and a ruler who has shown that he is prepared to restore hope among the Yoruba people.
He pointed out that the Ooni has always been agitating for the development of the Yoruba nation and the youth, adding that Oba Ogunwusi is not only for the development and promotion of education but for the development of Yoruba language and culture.
The former President of the Institute of Chartered Account (ICAN) Abdulateef Adeyemi described Oba Ogunwusi as a bridge builder who is kind and ready to give all he has for the development of his people. He said his ability to promote the youth and give them sense of belonging and leadership quality should be emulated by all, because he has shown that he is a true father of all.
In his own comment Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku who contested for the House of Representative under the Zenith Labour party after he was denied the ticket by the APC said Oba Ogunwusi as a father was doing what would not make people forget him for life. He said his efforts were like that of Chief Obafemi Awolowo who in his wisdom built leaders through free education while Oba Ogunwusi is building leaders politically through culture and traditional and moral values.