Work for greater peace and progress, Buhari tells new Ooni as Ife stands still for new monarch’s arrival

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday congratulated Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi on his emergence as the 51st Ooni of Ife and successor to the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

Meanwhile, businesses are expected to come to a standstill in Ile-Ife on Wednesday (today) as the Ooni-designate arrives the ancient town to begin traditional rites leading to his coronation.

The Obadio of Ile-Ife and the head of Isoro Cult, Oba Olajide Ifaloba, announced Tuesday: “The Ooni-designate will arrive tomorrow (today) and this is authoritative.”

A statement by Presidency spokesman, Femi Adesina says “President Buhari rejoices with Prince Adeyeye on his nomination as Ooni by the kingmakers of Ife after a keenly contested but peaceful selection process, and confirmation yesterday by Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State.

“As he prepares to begin the rites of ascension to the revered throne of his great ancestors, President Buhari urges the Ooni-designate to commit himself to carrying all his subjects along to a new era of peace, stability and progress in Ife, Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole.”

Mr Adesina further disclosed that Buhari called on Prince Adeyeye to be prepared to put his new position as Ooni and principal custodian of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Yoruba to good use in the service of his people and country.

“President Buhari also urges the Ooni-designate to dedicate himself to building on, and surpassing the worthy legacies of his much-acclaimed predecessor, Oba Sijuwade, and working with government and other traditional rulers across the country to foster greater harmony, peaceful co-existence and faster socio-economic development of his people and all Nigerians,” the statement said.

As Prince Adeyeye ascends to the grand throne of the Ooni of Ife, Buhari’s prayers are “that God Almighty will grant him the immense wisdom and courage he will require to oversee further progress and greater prosperity for his people.”

All shops within the town will be closed as a mark of honour for the incoming monarch who becomes a member of the Isoro Cult upon coronation.

Ogunwusi succeeds Sijuwade, who joined his ancestors on July 28, 2015 upon drawing his last breath at a London hospital.