Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife has been urged to do everything within his powers towards ensuring that families, communities and properties affected during the Ife-Modakeke communal crisis are rehabilitated.
The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr.) Aremu Adedotun Gbadebo gave the charge on Sunday while playing host to the new Ooni of Ife at his palace in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
Ooni, who arrived the Ake palace in Abeokuta at around 3:35pm with the retinue of his office was received by Oba Gbadebo at the entrance of the palace inner court in company of his wife, Dr. Tokunbo Gbadebo and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa.
The two monarch thereafter, went into the palace where other Egba traditional chiefs as well as other eminent sons and daughters of Egbaland were already waiting.
In his welcome address, Alake of Egbaland urged the new Ooni of Ife to remember the incidents, as well as several victims affected during the crisis and do something to end their suffering.
Oba Gbadebo, who prayed that the tenure of Ooni Ogunwusi will bring greater peace to the Yoruba race, also admonished the monarch not to be weary in his search for unity in Yorubaland.
The Egba monarch stressed that he has no doubt in his mind that Ooni would move the Yoruba race forward with his peace move.
Alake of Egbaland however emphasised that Ooni of Ife is one of the five principal monarchs in Yorubaland, noting that, hierarchically, Alaafin of Oyo takes the lead and followed by Oba of Benin, Alake of Egbaland and Awujale of Ijebuland.
Oba Gbadebo however, stated that all other traditional rulers in Yorubaland should humble themselves in order for the much needed unity may reign in Yorubaland.
Alake explained that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had already demonstrated the type of humility which is expected of all other traditional institutions with his visit to the Ooni in his palace where he prostrated.
He said, “that showed that the former President is a well cultured Yoruba son who revered the traditional stool”.
The monarch further stated that the only challenge which the traditional institution in Yorubaland has over the years is the ego of some traditional rulers who always want to put their shoulders high.
Alake however maintained that the reign on Ooni Ogunwusi and his visitations to all Yoruba Obas would engender the needed peace and progress of the race.
In his response, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, expressed delight at the reception organised for him.
He expressed optimism and assured that the needed love and unity to move the entire Yoruba race forward has returned to the land.
Ooni lamented the lack of unity among the traditional rulers in Yorubaland, but stressed that the move towards achieving that is in motion since his coronation as Ooni of Ife.
The Ife monarch emphasised that love and unity of purpose ought to precede the much agitated progress of Yorubaland which he promised to pursue.
It would be recalled that an Ife-Modakeke conflict broke out in 1998 over a disputed land between the two communities. This conflict lasted till year 2000.
During the conflict, many lives were lost while properties worth over billions of naira was also destroyed.
The two communities, up till date are still counting their losses, sixteen years after the much reported war then.