Former registrar of National Business for Technical Education Board, NABTEB and Pro- Chancellor, Governing Council, Igbinedion University, Okada, Professor Olu Aina disclosed yesterday that the late Ooni Oba Sijuwade Olubuse (II) fought the south-west before his death.
Professor Aina said he was privilege to hold a private meeting with the Ooni some few days before he died, said that the late Ooni had canvassed support of the South West zone for President Muhammadu Buhari in his desire to re-invent Nigeria, adding that he described President Buhari as a man “God specifically brought as a Messiah to re-start Nigeria.
Prof. Aina, a Chief from the source in Ile-Ife, disclosed this in an audience he had with some Ife Kingmakers and Chiefs weekend, as preparations for installation of the next Ooni begins to generate attention, appealed to Kingmakers not to falter in their judgment on who becomes the next Ooni.
Professor Aina at the meeting called for great wisdom from the Ife Kingmakers on the need to support a candidate who will continue from where Oba Sijuwade stopped and advance the development of Ife, the Yorubaland and Nigeria in general, counting on the powerful and influential stool of the Ooni to do so.
He told the Kingmakers that the Ooni in deep reflection expressed a desire to ensure an end to the marginalization of the south west and believed strongly that the zone should accord the present government strong support while playing very key role in ensuring the progress of Nigeria.
He said, “Permit me to share an intimate moment I had with the Ooni a few days before he passed on. On the 9th of July 2015, baba called me and instructed that I should see him urgently. He even rebuffed my attempts to shift the date he set for the meeting which he made compelling. I struggled hard with my very tight schedule to see the Ooni.
“Surprisingly, our discussions centered on state of the nation. He told me bluntly that Nigeria should be grateful for having Muhammadu Buhari as President. He talked at length on his worries about Nigeria and the reign of impunity in high places as well as the general breakdown of security across the federation.
“He expressed concerns about the dilemmas of the Nigerian youths and the rate of unemployment in Nigeria. At a point, he heaved a heavy sigh and said that God specifically brought President Buhari as a Messiah to save Nigeria!
“The Ooni that I knew was never given to talking in vacuum. His reflections were usually sharp on issues. His reeled in deep thoughts, thus making predictions that always turned into clinical reality, mostly on local and national politics.
“He, indeed, expressed conviction in the political change in Nigeria and the capacity present government to rebuild the country. I recalled also that he talked extensively on the potentials of the Yoruba to assist in the stability of Nigeria given the mindset of the people and their positive disposition to the national cause.
“He prayed that the south-west with their contributions to the success of the 2015 presidential election will leverage on that to return to the center and assist in consolidating governance particularly for the emergence of a new Nigeria.
“Although, I had wondered the reasons behind the emphasis the Ooni made on support for the new government, yet, I was not shocked because all along, I knew he has been expressing tremendous respect for the President, touching on integrity and his no-nonsense posturing. He had shared his thought on this with some of us his close children long before the last Presidential election”
Prof. Aina who advised them to reflect on the wish by Oba Sijuwade for the south-west to take a leadership position in a bid by the government to revive Nigeria by electing a new Oba with capacity to do so, said, “We will trust in your capacity, good judgment and ability to look for a successor with deep vision, experience, candour, exposure and natural disposition to unite Ife and its neighbouring nations. Ife needs an Ooni with strong leadership spirit to unite the Yorubaland while making the south-west to sustain its enviable contributions to the progress and development of Nigeria.
“The late ooni, was noted for his ability to break the barriers of phobia in his style of leadership. He was affable, amenable, open, friendly with people from far and near and well versed in foreign relations. He was a Yoruba leader personified. These are the virtues we should look for in the next Ooni”