When Ooni hosted Awori people at Ile-Ife, celebrated Olofin Ogunfunminire
Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yorubaland has been the destination of sort to many notable towns in the South West and even beyond the shores of the country with their traditional rulers and leaders, leading their subjects to Ife to trace their origin. From Ekiti state to Ijebu in Ogun, Iseyin of Oyo and Awori, in Lagos state, among others, the natives of these towns have since been coming back to Ile-Ife, with a view of locating their respective roots.
Hence, the recent hosting of Awori people, currently domiciled in Lagos and Ogun states by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is not different and unique. But, the celebration of Olofin Ogunfunminire, the progenitor of the Aworis, who migrated from Ile-Ife decades back added colour and glamour to the hosting of the Aworis in the historical town.
Hundred of the indigenes of Awori who are descendants of Olofin Ogunfunminire in Lagos and Ogun states stormed Ife to celebrate their progenitor, Olofin Ogunfunminire who was a Sooko in Ile-Ife before his departure hundreds of years ago.
Beside, prominent traditional rulers from Ile Ife and others joined the Awori people and traditional rulers led the Ojomu of Ajiran in Lagos state, Oba Adetunji Akinloye who is also the Chairman of Awori Council of Obas to commemorate Olofin Ogunfunminire.
Historically, Olofin Ogunfunminire was founder of the Awori who together with his followers left the palace of Oduduwa (progenitor 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.
Addressing the Aworis during the reception tagged “Ileya Omo Oodua” at Afewonro Park, Enuwa, Ile-Ife, Oba Ogunwusi, who underscore the need for peace and unity of Yoruba race affirmed that Olofin Ogunfunminire was a prince from Ife who was very vibrant, brave and courageous.
According to him, “when Ogunfunminire was 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 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 traditional rulers subsequently conducted the monarchs and indigenes of Awori kingdom round notable dieties in Ife such as Yeyemolu well, Ile Ase (House of Authority), Idi Aje and others, stressing that “Olofin Ogunfunminire was a major player in the history of the Yoruba race.”
Oba Ogunwusi stated that “the first Olofin Ogunfunminire Day celebration organised by the Dr Michael Olawale Cole led committee is a great innovation”, just as he tasked the descendants of Olofin Ogunfunminire to uphold it.
In his speech as the chairman of the occasion, who is also the Asiwaju of Aworis, Dr Michael Olawale-Cole commended Ooni for his determination and resolve 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.
He stated that, “as the overall father of the race, the Arole Oduduwa is undeniably focused on fostering peace and unity amongst all descendants of Oduduwa. Ooni of Ife is indeed the leading light of progress for the Yoruba race and Africa in general. He has touched the deepest part of every Awori and Olofin descendants’ heart with this special home-coming festival.”
In his remark, Olofin of Isheri, Oba Nurudeen Adekambi described the event as a much expected home coming for all Awori descendants, expressing his joy over the event, adding that “Ooni should be commended for providing conducive atmosphere for the Awori children and creating opportunity for unification and connecting us back to our historical source.”
In the same vein, Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Adelaja referred to Ile Ife as the true source of the world, saying himself and his brothers from the Awori land are currently at home, emphasising that “everything started from here.”
Olota of Ota in Ogun state, Oba (Prof.) Adeyeni Obalanlege, Alagbado of Agbado, Oba Shyllon Shogunro, Onikotun of Otun Ota, Oba Abdul-Akeem Odunaro and other monarchs who are descendants of Olofin Ogunfunminire also attended the reception ceremony with tens of their subjects, princes and princess