The Olofin of Isheri, His Royal Majesty, Oba Nurudeen Adekanmbi led other Awori Obas in both Lagos and Ogun States to the first Ileya Awori festival held at the Enu Owa square of Ooni’s palace, Ile-Ife earlier in December.
The event was put together by the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II in a bid to reconcile the Aworis whose progenitor, Olofin Ogunfunminire was from the Sooko bloodline in Ife centuries ago but are scattered across both Lagos and Ogun States which occupies the commercial nerves centre of entire South West and Nigeria.
Prominent traditional rulers from Ile Ife and others joined the Aworis who officially returned home after so many years that they have left Ife to resettle in their new abode.
According to history, Olofin Ogunfunminire was founder of the Awori who together with his followers left the palace of Oduduwa (founder of the Yoruba) in Ile-Ife and migrated southward along a river. Oduduwa had given Olofin a mud plate and instructed him to place it on the water and follow it until it sank into the river which would signal where they would settle down. In accordance with Yoruba custom, they brought their beaded crown along with them from Ile Ife.
In his speech as the Chairman of the occasion, the Asiwaju of Awori, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, praised Ooni Ogunwusi for his continual strive to make the world a peace haven for all and sundry, describing him as the father to whom the entire people of Awori remain very loyal.
Olawale-Cole said as overall father of the race, the Arole Oduduwa is undeniably focused on fostering peace and unity amongst all descendants of Oduduwa, adding that the monarch is indeed the leading light of progress for the Yoruba race and Africa in general. He added that Ooni has touched the deepest part of every Awori and Olofin descendants’ heart with this special Home-Coming festival. Chief Cole called on all Yoruba race to support Ooni in uplifting the culture and traditional heritage of the source, as it is the only way out for the progress.
While celebrating Olofin Ogunfunminire, Ooni Ogunwusi called for peace and unity among Yoruba race. The African foremost monarch stated this at Afewonro Park, Enu-Owa, Ile-Ife at this year’s Ileya Omo Odua programme which brought home Ife descendants of Awori from Lagos.
Ooni expressed further that when Ogunfunminirewas leaving Ife for Lagos, he drank water from Yeyemolu sacred well located at the palace and was subsequently blessed by Ogun at Ile-Ase which is called (Ogun Ladin) and fortune smiled on him as he bears the name Olofin Ogunfunminire. Oba Ogunwusi said he will always reference Lagos because that is the place his business empire blossom till he became the spiritual head of Yoruba globally.
He added that Olofin Ogunfunminire was a prince from Ife who was very vibrant, brave and courageous. Ooni Ogunwusi who described the Awori people as the custodians of the entire African continent’s wealth, noted that Ooni Aribiwoso who was on the throne when Olofin Ogunfunminire left Ile Ife acknowledged his God given potentials.
The monarch, who conducted the monarchs and indigenes of Awori kingdom round notable dieties in Ife like the Yeyemolu well, Ile Ase (House of Authority), Idi Aje and others, described Olofin Ogunfunminire as a major player in the history of the Yoruba race.
Oba Adeyeye explained that the first Olofin Ogunfunminire Day celebration organized by the Asiwaju (Dr.) Michael Olawale Cole led committee is a great innovation, calling on the descendants of Olofin Ogunfunminire to uphold it.
In his reaction, Olofin of Isheri, His Royal Majesty, Oba Nurudeen Adekambi described the event as a much expected home coming for all Awori descendants, expressing his joy over the event. Oba Nurudeen who thanked the Ooni for providing a palatable atmosphere for the Awori children described the monarch as a unique father.
The Olota of Ota, His Esteemed Majesty, Oba (Prof.) Adeyemi Abdulkabir Obalanlege expressed his joy for the home coming put together by the Ooni of Ife, citing that such was long overdue and the Ooni should strive in making sure that the event is sustained.
In the same vein, Osolo of Isolo, HRM Oba Kabiru Adelaja referred to Ile-Ife as the true source of the world, saying he and his brothers from the Awori land are currently at home. Oba Kabiru simply said, “Everything started here.”
Alagbado of Agbado, Oba Shyllon Shogunro, Onikotun of Otun Ota, Oba Abdul-Akeem Odunaro,and other monarchs who are descendants of Olofin Ogunfunminire fully attended the ceremony with tens of their subjects, Chiefs, Princes and Monarchs of Ile Ife.