Ooni blames Yoruba monarchs’ rivalry on feud
Sijuwade, who admitted for the first time frosty relationship among traditional rulers in the region, noted that the rift between him, the Awujale of Ijebuland and the Alake of Egbaland had been resolved for good.
He said the recent visit by both the Awujale and the Alake to his palace was part of the reconciliatory process, adding that three of them used the occasion to discuss vital issues to enhance the development of Yorubaland.
“On October 5, the Awujale paid me a visit and we discussed the progress of Yorubaland. We will also pay him a return visit soon. The Alake was here too. We are getting together and moving towards the development of this region and the country at large”, he said.
Oba Sijuwade lauded some Yoruba leaders, including Chiefs Ayo Adebanjo and Olanihun Ajayi whom he said, are irrevocably committed to working towards resolution of the crisis.
The Ooni, who underscored the immense role traditional rulers play in stabilising the country, said that politicians should allow the wisdom of elders to guide them on whether Vice President Goodluck Jonathan should act as President when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is still on sick bed.
He noted that the issue is sensitive and should be handled with caution, pointing out that with wise counsel by elders, Nigeria should be able to reach amicable solution.
The monarch, who said that traditional rulers are the only unifying factor in the country, stated that traditional rulers across the country are working for the unity of the nation.
He stressed that the traditional institution is the only entity that binds the country together.
On effort to address the problem of extinction threatening the Yoruba language, the Ooni said that the Yoruba race could not be extinguished, pointing out that all traditional rulers have resolved that the Yoruba language should be taught in schools from kindergarten to the tertiary level.
Reliving the circumstance, which brought him to the throne 29 years ago, Sijuwade noted that before he ascended the throne, he was comfortable and accepted the position of obaship so as to serve the people.
“You cannot be in affluence while majority of your people are wallowing in abject poverty. I was in London when our revered father, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, joined his ancestors. It was Chief Obafemi Awolowo who said I should proceed to Nigeria to serve my people”.
He lamented the recent communal war, which ravaged his domain, saying that it caused great socio-economic setback for the area.