Installation and Coronation of the 50th Ooni of Ife
ILE-IFE – Ife Ooye - is a name that was deliberately coined by the founding fathers of the Yoruba Race; as earlier indicated, it was neither a coincidental nor a careless coinage. Its antecedents date to the very beginning.
| Read The Coronation Speech of Oba Okunade Sijuwade
From Ile-Ife according to the Yorubas, the world took off; from Ile-Ife, empires and kingdoms were founded. Oduduwa sent out his sons to found and rule over these empires and kingdoms. The relationship of the rulers of such empires and kingdoms to Ife in the distant past is unclear. Eventually, it came to be recognized that although they had political power over these kingdoms and empires, spiritual power was believed to reside in Ile-Ife, it was this spiritual power that made it possible for them to rule successfully over their kingdoms and empires.
Since Oduduwa, many years ago, Ile-Ife has been regarded by the Yorubas as the cradle of their race, the land of the gods and the Ooni of Ife is reffered to as God’s own representative on earth – Arole Oduduwa, Oluaye, Iku Alase, Orisa Keji – and regarded with awe and reverence.
The coronation of Ooni Olubuse II on Saturday, 6 th December , 180 like that of the 49 preceeding Oonis is believed to have been specifically chosen and ordained by the gods. However, this coronation was different from previous coronation of an Ooni to take place in independent Nigeria. The immediate preceding one, that of His Royal Highness, Ooni Adesoji Aderemi, fifty years before, took place in a colonised Nigeria.
At the time of coronation of Ooni Olubuse II in 1980. Nigeria was not only an independent country, but a relatively prosperous one as well, with a sizeable, well-educated middle class. All these factors combined to make his coronation one of the grandest and most well attended in the history of Ife and indeed in Yorubaland. Besides, the personality of this Ooni, something of a homme du monde, attracted quite a ceremony. Never before had such a colourful array of personalities from various parts of the world converged in Ile-Ife to honour an individual; but then this was no ordinary individual.
In his life-time, Ooni Adesoji Aderemi KBE, it was generally acknowledged, was a giant in every respect. He affected his society at every level and certainly left a vacuum that could not be filled by any but a giant n his own right and so when it was announced that Ooni Adesoji Aderemi departed these earthly shores was much curiosity well beyond the boundaries of Yorubaland as to who would succeed this unique son of Oduduwa, the first Ooni in modern Yoruba history to successfully combine his crucial tradition role as Ooni with secular political functions, in an emerging and highly fractious nation-state... read on