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Group Sets Agenda Of Business, Peace, Unity In Ife For The Oni-Designate

By Niyi Adeyi

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has congratulated the Oni of Ife-designate, Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi as well as set new agenda for him, including: bringing investors to the ancient town; tolerating all tribes and fostering unity among his subjects.

The organization noted apart from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), there was hardly any presence of buoyancy in the city, therefore, urged the incoming paramount Monarch to use his influence in the Nigerian and international business community to bring investors to the city.

Still, MURIC in a statement issued Tuesday in Lagos by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, warned that the canvassed project of turning Ile Ife into a prosperous city, might become fait accompli, if there was no peace, as constant wars have been scaring both local and foreign investors away from the city, urging him to usher in a new era of peace and stability.

The group recalled that Oba Adesoji Aderemi (late Oba Sijuade’s predecessor) ruled Ife peacefully for decades, with no single incidence of violence between Ife and Modakeke natives.

“He (Oba Aderemi) consciously promoted peaceful coexistence between the two communities. We believe that if it was possible for Oba Adesoji Aderemi to rule without fighting the people of Modakeke, it is equally possible for the young, talented and amiable Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi to reign without fighting any war with his neighbours.

“The Ife-Modakeke wars defy logic. How can the Ife people tolerate people of other tribes like the Igbos and Hausas if they cannot tolerate the people of Modakeke who are also Yorubas?” MURIC asked.

The organization observed that there was no gainsaying in the fact that Ile Ife was the cradle of Yorubaland, thereby making tolerance and accommodation of Modakeke becomes imperative, if the new Ooni must justify this enviable position, stressing that the stool was a lofty status which the new Ooni must exploit to stamp his royal authority on the rest of Yorubaland and subsequently to enjoy the confidence of his tribal people.

“The new Ooni is the representative of Oduduwa, the ancestor of the whole Yoruba race. By implication, therefore, the Ooni is the father of Yorubaland. Engaging in internecine war with its neighbour certainly diminishes this historical status. The new father of Yorubaland must open his arms to embrace all Yorubas, including Modakeke.

“All Yorubas must be welcome in Ile Ife. It is their ancestral home. There is no city in Yorubaland that does not trace its origin to Ile Ife. If, therefore, the Modakekes have come to Ile Ife sometime in the past as a result of pressure and the need for resettlement, they have come to the right place, the place from which they originated ab initio” MURIC restated.

While charging the state government to lift Ile Ife from its current state of economic comatose, the association advised the new Ooni to avoid interfering in religious issues or meddling in the murky waters of politics, stressing that he should instead, focus his attention only on issues relating to manpower development.

It also alleged “the open romance of the late Oba Sijuade with former President Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling party brought the city into confrontation with the state government with the attendant dashing of hopes, frustration of the youths and retardation of development. The new Ooni is advised to tow the path of diplomacy for the progress of Ile Ife”.

Still on undue interference, MURIC complained that the former Oni’s unpleasant approach was evident in the affairs of the Ile Ife chapter of the Ansarudeen Society of Nigeria which led to his replacement order of the society’s choice of Imam; the sanctioning of the society’s chairman in Ile Ife and the closure of the society’s mosque at Ajamopo around 2006.

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