The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, put on the sacred Aare crown on Saturday in Ile-Ife, Osun, for the first time amidst jubilations and local gun salute by the natives. Oba Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, performed the symbolic trip from Ile Oodua, his palace to Oke Mogun shrine, to mark this year’s Olojo Festival, being the first time he would participate in the festival as Ooni.
Olojo Festival holds annually in Ile Ife, to mark creation of the universe and “Are crown” a special crown made of 151 items. It is wore only during the celebration of the festival and was adorned by Ooni.
Decked in all white apparel, Oba Ogunwusi, had been in seclusion for 5 days. He left his residence for Oke Mogun around 4: 30p.m for the final rites before he wore mystic “Are” crown. At exactly 5 p.m. Oba Ogunwusi, emerged with Are crown holding a white dove, amidst prayers and several gunshots which began with the journey to Oke Mogun and Idi Aje.
Two major ports of call during Olojo Festival where rituals and prayers were said for the peace of Nigeria and Yoruba race. Are crown, according to sources, in Ooni’s palace weighs 100 kg, last made the trip to Oke Mogun several years ago. “ Because the late Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuade, owing to his advance age in last 3 years of his reign did not wear Are crown even during the celebration of Olojo.
On the procession of Ooni to Oke Mogun were Ife chiefs, priests and members of Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, as well as indigenes and tourists from different parts of world. Before Ooni commenced the trip, his messengers, who wore only shorts, wielding cane performed the symbolic sprint to Oke Mogun three times to clear the route the monarch would take. The festival was peaceful, as all and sundry were in celebration mood, praying for the progress and development of the Yoruba race and the country at large.