Obasanjo, Soyinka laud Ooni’s efforts to unite Yoruba monarchs
They spoke yesterday in Ile-Ife, Osun State at the first anniversary of the crowning of the Ooni and presentation of a book titled “Venerated” which is on the background and emergence of Oba Ogunwusi.
Obasanjo and Soyinka urged Ogunwusi not to be distracted by negative comments that could cause disunity among the Yoruba.Obasanjo said he had been monitoring the actions of the Ooni since his ascension to the throne and commended his unification agenda as a key factor crucial for the development of the Yoruba and Nigeria in general.
“I have paid keen interest to the unification move of the Ooni since his ascension to the throne. It is commendable. We need someone like him to ensure that the Yoruba nation remained undivided,” he said.
Soyinka stressed the need for all Yoruba to unite, noting that one of the controversial issues among the leaders of the region was the origin of Ile-Ife.In reference to a recent claim by the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinrutan on the Yoruba heroine, Moremi, he said anyone who considered her a traitor was not saying the truth.
He said: “There is controversy about the origin of someone whom we know as the origin of Yoruba race, kingdom, the black race and humanity. This may continue for long but the reality is that Kabiyesi, the Ooni of Ife is above all and Ile-Ife is the cradle of humanity.”
Pesonalities who attended the event included Governor Rauf Aregbesola represented by his deputy, Titi Laoye Tomori, traditional rulers in the region and foreign envoys.