The excitement in the air was palpable on Sunday as the new Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi opened a new chapter in the relationship with Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, as he became the first Ooni to visit Oyo town since 1937.
The Methodist Church, Apaara, venue of the 45th coronation anniversary thanksgiving of Oba Adeyemi III, became charged immediately news filtered in that Oba Ogunwusi’s convoy has reached Owode, followed by many other Obas.
The late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade and Oba Adeyemi were locked in a battle of supremacy till the former passed on last year.
But in an unprecedented move that can only unite two of the leading Yoruba traditional monarchies, Oba Ogunwusi decked in the normal Ooni trademark attire, shook hands with the Alaafin and they sat on the same chair, both beaming with smiles.
An elated Oba Adeyemi, who had earlier read from the Bible, recalled the last time an Ooni visited the Alaafin was in 1937, adding that he was very close to many Obas in Yorubaland and beyond.
Revealing how close he was to Ooni Adesoji Aderemi, the monarch said he never disrespected him but prayed for his longevity on the throne.
“The misunderstanding started during the reign of the last Ooni. May your reign be long, Ooni. I am happy with Ooni Ogunwusi’s moves to unite all Yoruba Obas”, Oba Adeyemi stated.
In his remarks, Oba Ogunwusi described Alaafin as a great monarch, noting that “it is a new dawn for all Yoruba sons and daughters around the globe” as he ended his speech with the song ‘Ore l’ao mase…Awa o ba ti ja wa ooo, Ore l’ao ma se’ loosely translated as ‘We will continue to be friends, we come in peace, not for a showdown’.
Oba Ogunwusi and other Obas were later hosted inside the Palace of the Alaafin.
Present at the historic event were more than 30 Obas which included the Timi of Ede, Owa Ajero of Ijero, Ore of Otun Ekiti, Orangun of Ila, Akinrun of Ikirun, Aragbiji of Iragbiji and Elerin of Erin Osun.