To mark the commencement of this year’s Olojo Festival, the revered Ooni of Ife, Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, embarked on a profound 7-day spiritual seclusion on Sunday.
During this sacred period, he seeks divine intervention from Almighty God (Olodumare) and the ancestral spirits of the land to facilitate the economic recovery of Nigeria and the unity of the African continent for shared prosperity.
The illustrious monarch, a staunch advocate of Pan-Africanism, addressed the press just before embarking on a solemn procession to the ancient ‘ILE MOLE’ cult chamber, situated on Iremo road in Ile-Ife.
During his remarks, he lauded President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria for his compelling Pan-African address at the 78th UN General Assembly in the United States.
President Tinubu’s words, “To the rest of the world, I say walk with us as true friends and partners. Africa is not a problem to be avoided nor is it to be pitied. Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future,” resonated deeply with the Ooni.
Ooni Ogunwusi called upon people across the African continent and the global community to unite and foster peace, recognizing it as the cornerstone of development and the gateway to economic liberation. He urged all stakeholders in Africa to prioritize the unification of the continent, emphasizing that Pan-Africanism is an unwavering commitment that should not be subject to negotiation.
The Olojo Festival, celebrated annually in Ile-Ife, holds immense cultural and spiritual significance in Yoruba tradition.
The Ooni’s spiritual seclusion and his endorsement of Pan-African ideals during this event serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of unity and collective prosperity, both within Nigeria and across the African continent.
“President Bola Tinubu spoke very creditably well as a true Pan-African leader during the 78 edition of the UN General Assembly. I also respect Presidents Yoweri Museveni and William Ruto of Uganda and Kenya respectively for always consistently standing for Africa. I have met with them and we have always discussed Africa development.
“For the past 8 years that I been on the throne of Oduduwa, anytime I go into seclusion, there is nothing I ask the ancestors that doesn’t come into fulfillment. Therefore, I can rest assured that this time around, the actualization of Pan-Africanism will come to reality. “Ooni said.”
Ooni, while expressing deep concern about the suffering and hardship in Nigeria, emphasized the necessity for ancestral intervention to guide President Tinubu’s administration towards revitalizing hope.
This revival entails delivering economic relief to the impoverished masses, improving infrastructure such as roads, ensuring uninterrupted power supply, making education affordable, creating employment opportunities, and, most importantly, realizing the long-awaited dream of ideological unity across Africa.
He called upon governments at every level to exhibit heightened sensitivity towards the people’s predicaments. Additionally, he urged all individuals and groups to unite in supporting the president’s efforts, fostering national stability, and driving economic progress.
“I will pray for the unity of Africa. Things are very hard. We all know the economic challenges that people are facing.
“The issue of restiveness of our youths would not go beyond control, before this are sensitive issues that we need to address before it goes out of hand.
“My prayer also would be to pray for divine intervention for the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in order to turn things right because expectations of people are so high”, Ooni stated.
The globally recognized leader of the Oduduwa community and Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) expressed his admiration for President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil due to his profound affection for Africa.
The substantial turnout of Afro-Brasilians and members of the African diaspora stands as clear evidence that the Olojo festival serves as a unifying force, connecting Africans across the globe.
Earlier this year, Ooni Ogunwusi had the honor of being hosted by the Brazilian President to inaugurate the African Religion ISESE Day in Brasilia, Brazil.
His Pan-African efforts have also been acknowledged and celebrated by various African leaders.
Notable among these are President John Mahama of Ghana, King of Kumasi Asantene Osei Tutu in 2016, President Ruto of Kenya in March of this year, and President Museveni of Uganda just a month ago.