The new Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, yesterday made a historic appearance in the ancient town of Oyo, when he joined other prominent Yoruba monarchs to celebrate the 45th coronation anniversary thanksgiving service of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, who ascended the throne of his forefathers in 1971.
Both Alaafin and the late Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, hardly saw eye-to-eye due to an age-long supremacy battle between the duo.
But yesterday at the Methodist Church, Apaara, venue of the thanksgiving service, Oba Ogunwusi became the first Ooni to visit Oyo since 1937, according to the Alaafin.
Decked in his trademark traditional regalia, Oba Ogunwusi shook hands with the Alaafin, they sat next to each other and beamed with smiles. They were the cynosure of all eyes in the church.
A visibly elated Oba Adeyemi recalled that the last time an Ooni visited the Alaafin was in 1937 and reminisced on his closeness to Sijuwade’s predecessor, Oba Adesoji Aderemi.
He said he never disrespected Aderemi and always prayed for his longevity on the throne.
He, however, regretted that the misunderstanding started during the reign of Sijuwade.
Turning to his guest, Oba Adeyemi, he said: “May your reign be long, Ooni. I am happy with Ooni Ogunwusi’s moves to unite all Yoruba obas.”
Ogunwusi described the Alaafin as a great monarch, adding that “it is a new dawn for all Yoruba sons and daughters around the globe”.
He ended his speech with a song, “Ore l’ao Ma se…Awa o ba ti ja wa ooo, Ore l’ao ma se (we will continue to be friends).”
Present at the historic reunion were more than 30 obas including the Timi of Ede, the Owa Ajero of Ijero, the Ore of Otun Ekiti, the Orangun of Ila, the Akinrun of Ikirun, the Aragbiji of Iragbiji and the Elerin of Erin Osun.