·Asks monarchs to emulate Ooni’s unity agenda

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) on Tuesday implored Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to put their differences behind and work together for the unity of Yorubaland.

The ARG, a pan-Yoruba socio-economic and political organisation, called for support for the unity agenda of the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi among Yoruba traditional rulers.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman of the ARG Kwara State Chapter, Mr. Joe Olarogun, urging Yoruba monarchs “to embrace the agenda and desist from any act that may hinder the current initiative.”

The group issued the statement amidst superiority tussle which ensued between front-line Yoruba monarchs, particularly the Awujale of Ijebuland and Alake of Egbaland last week.

Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland, had stirred the hornet’s nest when he reeled out the five topmost Yoruba monarchs during a visit to his palace by the Ooni of Ile-Ife and the list has since caused ripples in the media with Awujale firing the latest salvo.

But the ARG expressed concern that the raging bickering could upset the progressive drive, which it said, Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ile-Ife, had initiated to promote unity among all strata of leaders in Yorubaland.

The group said: “This is the period to support the unity agenda that the Ooni, Ogunwusi, has started. Anything that may cause distraction or hindrance should therefore be ignored.”

“We had hoped that our revered monarchs will immediately key into this initiative but other than those that have commended the Ooni, we are yet to see any other monarch taking up the agenda.

“Instead, we have observed media exchanges among frontline Yoruba monarchs on issues that do not directly augur well for their people. Definitely, obsession with the past does not erase the current reality neither does it guarantee the future.”

“Yorubaland is currently being buffeted by many challenges including nomadic herdsmen terror and deepening poverty. At this time, it is more beneficial for any Yoruba monarch to be seen reciprocating the gestures of the Ooni. We hope to see our monarchs personalise this agenda until the entire Yorubaland becomes united in purpose.”

The group therefore called on all well-meaning Yoruba sons and daughters “to drum up support for this agenda until it rings loud in all nooks in Yorubaland. We all should seize this moment that portends greatness for our nation.”