The Ooni of Ife and his wife, Olori Wuraola Zynab Otiti Obanor, are currently in the United States, where they are being hosted by the indigenes of Ile-Ife resident in the United States.
Also, new reports have confirmed that a New York City senator, Kevin Parker, and the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, have secured proclamation to declare June 13 as ‘Yoruba Day’. The monarch is billed to meet with the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who reportedly will be giving him an award.
According to News Men:
“The Ooni has also been billed to visit President Barack Obama at the White House, where he will receive an award.
The statement added that a number of programmes had been scheduled to honour the traditional ruler while in the country.
As part of activities in his visit to the US, the Ooni will on Sunday, June 12, 2016, be the Special Guest of Honour at the prestigious Odunde festival. The festival, which promotes the culture of the Yoruba race, was created in 1975 by Lois Fernandez and Ruth Arthur, and attracts about 500,000 people annually. The event will provide an opportunity for the monarch to interact with the over 3,000 Ife indigenes in the US on how to develop Ile-Ife.
On the same day, the Museum of the Contemporary African Diaspora Arts will receive the monarch in a private reception as well as a public forum session.
Expected at the event will be Brooklyn Borough President and a New York City Public Advocate, Leticia James. The monarch will then move to the Mid-West and other parts of the country to attend economic and leadership summits before being received by President Barack Obama through The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighbourhood Partnerships.”
Meanwhile, Chief Olubunmi Awopileda, the Chairman of the Grand Reception Planning Committee and one of the leaders of Ife Ooye North America group, said the event will be attended by all the Ife natives in the US.
“All Ife natives in the US are excited and energised for this epochal occasion. It will be an occasion to showcase our very rich culture with our king as the symbol,” he said.