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How This New King is Re-invigorating Youth On the Continent

Among the many traditional rulers within the most populous black country in the world, Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife stands out as a central icon of the Yoruba national group. The Yoruba people are just

Among the many traditional rulers within the most populous black country in the world, Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife stands out as a central icon of the Yoruba national group. The Yoruba people are just one of the many diverse groups  housed within the multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-faith space of Nigeria. For a fact, traditional rulers are deeply revered and respected across the entire country. As custodians of their community’s cultures and traditions, they  play a vital role in representing the community’s concerns and demands. Tradition is, therefore, an important organizing element of society, and the Ooni of Ife, the city widely regarded as the ancestral home of the Yoruba, is undoubtedly a prominent force in the preservation and consolidation of Yoruba traditions.

 

The coronation of 41-year-old Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Giesi Ruling House of Ile-Ife as the 51st Ooni of Ife in December 2015 was widely displayed in the media and across different circles in Nigeria and the Diaspora, especially amongst the youth population. His prolific achievements in enterprise and youth empowerment are exemplary, and his involvement in national and bilateral trade agreements that have brought economic development to communities across Nigeria have strongly convinced us at Applause Africa of his future success as one of the paramount rulers of Nigeria. Outlined below are few reasons why the new Ooni of Ife will be a significant player on the African Continent and within the Diaspora.

 

Early efforts in pursuing peace

Since his pledge to pursue peace at his coronation, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has made notable strides to that end. He validated his will for peace before the end of 2015, when he appeared at the Modakeke Day celebration popularly known as Akoraye Day in Modakeke, Osun state, the neighboring community with which Ile-Ife has been engaged in conflict for over a century.

Moreover, Oba Enitan showed up at the 45th anniversary of the coronation of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III. The last time such happened was in 1937, when Yoruba monarchs gathered in the ancient town of Oyo. A similar visit was made to the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.

 

Entrepreneurship for development

Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi is a graduate of Accountancy and a certified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Institute of Management. He delved into Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) locally and abroad for over 12 years. He was also actively involved in the development of over 2,500 housing units with various consortia of developers within the last 8 years.

He has sponsored numerous less privileged children and youths in his hometown of Ile-Ife as well as in Lagos where he lived. He currently employs over 300 indigenous youths at the Inagbe Cocowood Factory – Essential Homes Furniture brand, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria using 100% indigenous raw materials for production. He has over 450 direct employees across his various companies and over 3,000 indirect employees.

 

In 2002, he led a government delegation to Canada that promoted strategic alliances through a partnership with the Ondo State Government on solid mineral (Bitumen, Dimension Stones, Granites, etc.) potentials of the state.

 

 

Stimulating international trade and partnerships

In Nigeria, he set up and fostered strong trade relationships through the Association for International Business (AIB) with presence in over 200 member countries across the globe. One of the laudable achievements of this body is the trade facilitation between the United Arab Emirates (Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone Development) and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

In 2002, he led a government delegation to Canada that promoted strategic alliances through a partnership with the Ondo State Government on solid mineral (Bitumen, Dimension Stones, Granites, etc.) potentials of the state, which gave rise to the formation of the ‘Amalgamated Mining and Exploration Company Limited’ – wholly owned by the Ondo State Government.

 

The Ooni began his agricultural revolution initiative with a nursery plant of one million cocoa trees to be distributed to youths in Ile-Ife to empower them to be self-reliant.

 

 

Youth and Diaspora engagement

Oba Adeyeye evidently demonstrates the high value that he places on youths and the need to ensure that they are productively engaged for their own good and the benefit of societal development. Recently, the Ooni began his agricultural revolution initiative with a nursery plant of one million cocoa trees to be distributed to youths in Ile-Ife to empower them to be self-reliant. This scheme, the largest cocoa plantation nursery in Nigeria, targets 10 million trees with each youth getting 2,000 plants from the nursery stage. In addition to promises of support from his state and federal government, US-based company, Dynamic Green Concept Ltd is ready to partner with the Ooni on the scheme. In the context of a struggling economy affected by a fatal crash in oil prices as a result of its dependency on oil, the Ooni’s focus on agriculture, considering the country’s history and potentials, as a major employer of labour is well calculated.

 

Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi’s efforts at ensuring peace, building bridges that unite people locally, nationally, and globally, and promoting impact entrepreneurship strongly position him as a leading African voice. Furthermore, his interactions with the diaspora demonstrates his commitment to taking his message of the empowered youth beyond the confines of his kingdom.

 

Join us on June 10th to meet and honor this epic King. Buy Tickets.

Ifeoluwa Adedeji
Lagos, Nigeria – Ifeoluwa works in PR at Red Media Africa, where he engages governance communication, citizenship and enterprise advocacy, and public relations. An alum of the University of Ibadan and The Speech Academy, he is on Twitter @TheIfeAdedeji
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