The recently coronated Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, on Friday visited the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Sikiru Adetona, at Ijebu-Ode, ending 75 years of rivalry between the two monarchies.
Ooni Ogunwusi made a similar gesture when he visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, on January 17 to end a 79-year old supremacy battle between the two thrones.
Speaking during the visit, Oba Adetona advised Ooni Ogunwusi to be wary of sycophants, praise singers and politicians who he said were fond of misleading leaders, saying many of the praise singers were pretenders with ulterior motives.
He noted that the visit of Ooni of Ife was historic, recalling that the last time an Ooni visited an Awujale was in 1941 during the reign of the late traditional ruler of Ife, Adesoji Aderemi.
The royal father said he was impressed with the Ooni of Ife’s inaugural speech for emphasizing the unity among monarchs in Yorubaland, saying he reasoned along the same line of thinking.
“I read what you said in your speech during your inauguration, where you talked about unity among royal fathers in Yorubaland.
“I agree with you on the need for unity among the Yoruba monarchs. If we come together, we can achieve a lot for our people. If we all come together in a meeting and agreed on a certain issue, it must remain so,” he said.
Oba Adetona however indentified greed and selfish interest of some traditional rulers in getting contract awards or lobbying to obtain oil licence as the bane of disunity within the Yoruba race.
“Situations where an Oba is pursuing contract or lobbying to obtain an oil licence are some of the issues that polarised us in the past.
“You should know how to deal with and treat politicians. I did not say you should run away from them, but don’t take sides.
“You should not be their agent; you should be the agent of the people. By taking sides, you will be segmenting the community and people,” he advised.
In his remark, Ooni Ogunwusi commended his host for the warm reception accorded him and thanked God for giving Oba Adetona the longevity and wisdom to be on the throne for 56 years.
He said he was interested in gaining from the Awujale’s wisdom.
The Ooni also lamented that it was not cheering news that the last meeting of major monarchs in the South West was held in 1941.
The monarch pointed out that the Yoruba had the richest culture and traditions among the different ethnic groups in the country, saying the Yoruba people were underestimating the importance of their culture.
The Ooni emphasized that it was about time the royal fathers in the South West unite, saying the unity of the region would bring about rapid development.
“If we do not unite, we won’t go far. If we unite we will go far. Fingers are not equal, but if a finger is lost there is a challenge with that hand. Unity is important,” he added.