The much-anticipated arrival of the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II was the dream of everyone at Michael and Cecilia Ibru University and the Agbarha-Otor community. Many of us have only seen and heard of His Imperial Majesty on newspaper and watched him on TV. With high expectations, we had prepared as a community to receive the descendant of the father of Yoruba land, Oduduwa.
The coming of the Ooni of Ife to Michael and Cecilia Ibru University was to yield two major things for the institution. One was the launch of the University endowment fund program and two to inspire the youths of the university to become visionary leaders of our great nation Nigeria.
Then came the day we all have been waiting for. The Ooni of Ife rode in his magnificent white Rolls-Royce Phantom into Agbarha-Otor in a grand style. In his elegant white regalia accompanied by the gong beaters and praise singers into the town. The Ovie of Agbarha HRM Richard Oghenevwogaga Ebelle Okorefe 1 and the entire Traditional Council of Chiefs in Agbarha Kingdom with the President of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Dr.Mrs Cecilia Ibru were at hand to receive His Imperial Majesty.
The Ema dancers of Agbarha kingdom came out to entertain the Ooni with acrobatic dance steps and melodious Urhobo songs. The President-General of the Agbarha community proceeded to the traditional rites of breaking of kolanuts.
The Ooni thanked the Ovie of Agbarha for his great hospitality and prayed for the land to flourish and announced a great partnership between the house of Oduduwa Kingdom and the Agbarha kingdom. He also praised Dr.Mrs Cecilia Ibru for her exemplary leadership skills and urge the youths to emulate her.
Then the Ooni proceeded to the Pillars were he laid a wreath at the statue of the Late founder of Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Chief Michael Christopher Onajirhevbe Ibru, OFR as a sign of respect and honour.
Later that evening, preparation for the gala night was already in top gear at the Power of Faith building. Everyone stood up to welcome the Ooni as he arrived in his elegance and splendor to the gala night. After the opening prayer by Pastor Godfrey Efenadju of Christ Apostolic Church, dignitaries were introduced by Prince Soko Kemade Olubaju, after which the welcome speech was delivered by the University Legal Adviser, Barrister Chief Andrew Oru who was also a member of the Governing Council.
A eulogy was delivered by Mr. Yinka Festus Owojori in honour of the Ooni in the Yoruba dialect. The president then gave her speech praising the Ooni for finding us worthy to grace his presence with, she said “You are the King of the youths and it’s an honour to host the God-ordained King”.
The Ooni was treated to different presentations from the students of Michael and Cecilia Foundation Demonstration School and the University with jokes, drama and song recitations. The Vice-Chancellor came up the podium to give the closing remark with a word of appreciation to the Ooni for his visit to MCIU. The gala night ended with a closing prayer by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Mrs. Dicta Ogisi.
The second day was not short of high expectations as well. The Ooni arrived at the newly built Michael and Cecilia Foundation Demonstration School (MFCDS) and laboratories for commissioning with other traditional rulers. Beautiful artworks from the students of Michael and Cecilia foundation demonstration school were displayed to the Ooni. The Ooni was impressed by the creativity of the young students. Then he proceeded to the MCIU student hostel called ‘7houses’ for commissioning.
His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi arrived at the MCIU community radio for commissioning and he granted an interview on the radio. During the interview, the Ooni said the Urhobos and Yorubas have very deep and common ancestral background, he further explained that he is in the Urhoboland to foster peace and promote cultural heritage.
His Imperial Majesty was impressed with the level of development he saw and prayed the radio station to add value to the entire community; he also commissioned the new National Identity Management Centre (NIMC) which would help in easy registration for the national identity cards in the community.
The Ooni proceeded to the Power of Faith building with other dignitaries for the opening of the launch of the #10 billion university endowment fund and #100 million Professorial Chairs. The father of the day, Chief Goodie Ibru gave his speech adding that the visit of the Ooni will further encourage “Our youths to greater heights”.
The Ooni gave a soul captivating speech to the youths to take up their rightful place as future leaders of this great nation and bring the desired change that Nigeria needs. He said “The truth is that this country belongs to the youths. It’s time the youths have a sense of belonging and naturally claim what belongs to them”. The whole atmosphere was charged by the speech of the Ooni, as the youths were so inspired. The Ooni was given a plaque by the President in honour of his visit to the school.
The Ooni said a word of prayer to MCIU that the institution shall produce leaders that would make a difference in our society. The Ooni had a group photograph with other prominent Urhobo traditional leaders and bid farewell to the President and every other dignitaries and embarked on his journey back to Ife.
It was a wonderful lifetime experience with the Ooni. See more photos from the Ooni’s visit to MCIU here
Written by Oscar Ogbakpan