Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has said he would rally all the six governors in the southwest to involve the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams in securing the region against the prevailing killings and kidnappings
Oba Adeyeye gave assurance in Ile-Ife during the celebration of the 2024 Oodua festival, organized by the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF).
Ooni, who was represented by the Obalufe of Ife Kingdom, Oba Idowu Adediwura, said the killings of two Obas in Ekiti state was a bad omen and a pointer to the fact that the southwest is becoming too volatile, as bad elements are making the region unsafe for the people.
He, however, added that he would do everything possible to get the nod of the governors to involve Iba Gani Adams in securing the Southwest region.
He said: “It is time to use what we have to get what we want. We want peace in Yoruba land. We want effective security of lives and property. We want to sleep with our two eyes closed and we have a rising star who can make that possible.
“The Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams is the rising star who has what it takes to tackle the security challenges as he has been transforming the region through his cultural promotion activities for the past two decades.”
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Earlier in his remarks, the Aareonakakanfo called for a holistic approach to solving the security scourge across Nigeria, assuring the governors of the Southwest region that if they involve him in their efforts to curb the raging spate of insecurity, he was sure that the security challenges in the region would reduce drastically within six months.
“As the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, we will not allow the Plateau massacre to be replicated in any part of Yorubaland.
“But it must be stated that there is an urgent need for a lasting synergy between the government and the people at the grassroots.
“With the present security situation in the country, it is obvious that the government cannot do it alone.
“The battle to curb the spate of insecurity should be a collective effort and the government should involve us in addressing this issue.
“If the governors of the southwest involve me in their efforts to curb insecurity in the region, I assure you that the security challenges in the region will reduce drastically within six months”, he said.
Osun state commissioner for Arts and Culture, Abiodun Fafa, who represented Governor Ademola Adeleke said by next year, the state government will partner with the Olokun Festival Foundation in celebrating the Oodua festival in Ile Ife.
Fafa added that Governor Ademola Adeleke appreciated Aare Adams’ efforts in driving the Osun state tourism potential through the just concluded OPU world congress, where over 200 delegates of prominent Yoruba diaspora organizations stayed in Osogbo for five days and injected several millions of naira into the state’s economy.
“We didn’t know that the Oodua festival is such a big event. I assure you that by next year, the Osun state government will be involved.
“What Aare Gani Adams is doing with the OPU is a pride to all of us and I think the Yoruba will always be grateful to him for promoting the culture and tradition of our race, not only in Nigeria but across the world.
“OPU delegates were in Osogbo for five days. They gave free health care facilities to the people. They built boreholes for the people to have access to pipe-borne water and they injected several millions into the state economy through feeding and accommodations. This was a good gesture that must be appreciated.”
The guest lecturer, Dr Morufu Omigbule from OAU, Faculty of Arts, Dept of English, spoke on rituals in Yoruba land and the need to preserve the heritage.
He stated also that Yoruba is very lucky to have Iba Gani Adams as the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland adding that it is the responsibility of all the Yoruba Obas to support him in his efforts to promote the culture and traditions of the Yoruba race.
“I have been monitoring Aare Gani Adams for over two decades and I saw his consistency. I admire his resilience in driving the cultural promotion activities of the Yoruba race and I think it is time for all Yoruba Obas to support this worthy cause. That is the best way to preserve our heritage in Yoruba land.”
Special Adviser to the Osun State Governor on Security Matters, Samuel Ojo, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Internal Security and Local Matters, Dr. Adekunle Omoyele in their separate remarks spoke on the efforts of the state government in ensuring effective security in the state.
They urged the OPU delegates to come and invest in the state, insisting that the Osun state government is doing everything possible to attract foreign investors into the state.
“Osun state government is on top of the security situation in the state. We are ready to make Osun state safe for investors. So, delegates of OPU should not entertain any fear as we will do our very best to keep the state safe for them”, Omoyele stated.
No fewer than 10 prominent Obas were at the event, as lucky winners of the raffle draw went home with motorcycles and various gift items like standing fans, pressing irons, and several others.