President Muhammadu Buhari,
governors, traditional rulers and prominent Nigerians yesterday eulogized the
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi for his leadership qualities and achievements
since he ascended the throne a year ago.

The monarch got the accolades
during the grand finale of the week-long activities to mark his 1st coronation
anniversary held at Ile-Oodua white house palace.

Buhari who was represented by the
Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, described the Ooni as a
‘wound-healer’ and a progressively-ordained personality.  “Kabiyesi Ooni has healed the wound in our
land by bringing together everybody. We know that a lot has gone into this. It
is not a matter of age, but the fact that you are blessed by the Almighty God
to do so.

“We hope that in your many years on
the throne, we will witness more advancement of the entire Yoruba land, Nigeria
and everywhere we have Yoruba’s around the world. Many are celebrating you in Cuba,
Brazil, and America and all over the places where you have your children
around. We appreciate your contributions to our development and we will
continue to adore your Majesty,” Buhari said.

The Governor of Ondo State,
Olusegun Mimiko, remarked that the Ooni has performed beyond imagination within
his one year on the throne.

“Looking back, it is almost
unbelievable that you are just one year on the throne. You have impacted on
Ile-Ife city and the whole Nigeria. You have brought uncommon energy and
creativity to the throne.

‎You did not only preach peace but
have also acted unity at both state and national levels. You have demonstrated
how to use position as leverage for youth’s empowerment.

“Everything you have done shows
that you are well equipped to come to the throne to impact on lives. You have
made us proud. You have fired our imagination on your one year on throne and we
are ready to support you,” Mimiko said.

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano,
commended the Ooni for extending partnership to the Igbos and charged him to
intensify the unity between Yoruba’s and Igbos.

“Since Ooni emerged, I have enjoyed
great support from the Yorubas and I pray that his reign will be the longest on
the throne. I commend what you did to the youth by supporting them to be

I am here to consolidate and deepen
the Igbo-Yoruba unity. I am happy that the Yorubas living in Anambra are very
happy with us. I believe in Nigeria’s unity and we should all work hard to make
it work. I want our relationship to blossom,” Obiano said.

While emphasing the importance of
traditional rulers in the administration of any state, Governor Obiano also
recommended cutting of taxes as a way to mitigate the effect of recession on

“The traditional rulers are very
important in the administration of the state. They are very important in
settling disputes,” he added.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen.
Abayomi Olonisakin, urged the Ooni to sensitise indigenes of Ile-ife on the
importance of security.

“Enlightening them to be security
conscious will enhance the sustenance of your good legacies,” he said.

Deji of Akure, Aladetoyinbo
Aladelusi, said the Ooni has served as a source of inspiration for him and
other progressive minded traditional rulers in Yoruba land describing him as
the indistinguishable father of all Yoruba people in Nigeria and globally.

“The unity of traditional rulers as
emphasised by Ooni is important. We need it and we are always inspired by his
style of leadership. He has indeed lived up to expectations as our spiritual
leader, nobody can take this away from you no matter what they do” Deji of
Akure said.

The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya
Abubakar in his own speech expressed delight over the “progressive moves” of
Ooni Ogunwusi.

“Your Imperial Majesty, we in the
North are so proud of your leadership and bridge-building moves in the last one
year, it’s been so progressive “. Etsu Nupe said.

Osile of Okeona, Egbaland, Oba
Adedapo Tejuoso tasked the Ooni not to relent on his progressive agenda,
saying, “His one year is just like a thousand. 
“Kabiyesi, please don’t relent on this progressive agenda that you have
been enviably executing in the last one year which is just like a thousand
years. The rate of advancement and progress recorded since you ascended this
sacred throne of Oduduwa is marvellous.” Osile said.

Also the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka
Achebe, appealed to all traditional rulers in Nigeria to cooperate with the
Ooni in ensuring unity.

“Your Majesty, I bring you goodwill
from across the Niger, from all Igbos. We have seen how you bring real change
and solve challenges that seem impossible in a year. Your feat shows that when
God puts the crown on you, no human being can take it away. Collectively, with
a person like you, we will achieve the real change that we have been looking
for.” Obi of Onitsha said.

Reacting, the Ooni commended the
dignitaries that attended the coronation.

He challenged traditional rulers
and all well-meaning Nigerians to take the development of Nigeria as their core

He said, “We should collaborate
with government and stop the blame-game. We are closer to our people. Let’s
work towards youth emancipation. It is very important to know our roles as
traditional rulers and focus more on how to appreciate things that come out
from this country.

“We should be able to help others
with the money that God has provided for us. Let us help one another in our
little ways. We should give the less-privileged hope. We should all come together,
love ourselves and impact on the lives of others.”

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