The Government of the State of Osun has announced the appointment of the 51st Ooni of Ife, following several months of intense verbal onslaughts and legal battles between eligible ruling houses.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola made the announcement very early on Monday morning amidst heightened security in the ancient Yoruba settlement, in an apparent attempt to forestall any outbreak of violence.
“The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, has approved the appointment of a new Ooni of Ife,” the government confirmed the emergence of the new king in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti. “He is Prince Enitan Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of the Giesi Ruling House of Ile-Ife, State of Osun.”
“This choice,” the government added, “follows the completion of the due process by the kingmakers and communication of their decision to the Government.”
Today’s announcement by Governor Aregbesola is expected to finally lay to rest the acrimony that has lingered since the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, ascended to the great beyond on July 28.
But according to a report published by the Punch Newspapers Monday, the governor may have erred in approving the kingship of Mr. Ogunwusi, a real estate guru, because a case that was instituted in an Osun State High Court by opposing ruling houses has not yet been disposed of.
The Osinkola Ruling House, Punch reports, has been made aware of today’s announcement and warned the Aregbesola’s administration to desist from forging ahead with it.
According to an online-based medium, Premium Times, the new Ooni was born 40 years ago into the family of John Oluropo Ogunwusi from the famous Ojaja Lineage of the Giesi ruling house of the Agbedegbede Quarters in Ile-Ife, Prince Ogunwusi’s mother, Margaret Wuraola Sidikatu Abegbe Ogunwusi, was born into the family of Soji-Opa, a prominent Cocoa merchant in Ile-Ife.
Mr. Ogunwusi attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he obtained a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy.
After school, he grew rapidly in business, becoming a successful real estate merchant.
His bio on the website of Imperial Homes Mortgage Bank Limited (a subsidiary of GTBank) on which board he sits as non executive director, reads, “Mr. Ogunwusi is a graduate of Accountancy and a certified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and of the Institute of Management.
“He has been involved in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts locally and abroad for over 11 years.
“He was involved in the development of the Northern Foreshore Estate, Cityscape International Limited’s Buena Vista project in Lekki, Primewaterview Limited’s projects, Westcom Limited’s projects, and the Ajaokuta Steel’s and Delta Steel’s resuscitation projects
“Adeyeye (Ogunwusi) is currently the Managing Director of Howard Roark Gardens Limited which is undertaking multi-million naira Jacob Mews Estate project in Yaba and the Lakeview real estate development in Lekki.”
To become Ooni, Mr. Ogunwusi defeated 20 other contenders, including his 48-year old real estate- magnate brother, Adetunji, the Group Chairman of Primewaterview Holdings (comprising of Primewaterview Limited and PWV Management Services).