Efforts are in top for the establishment of a private university and polytechnic in Okunland, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has said.
Oba Ogunwusi said this in Ile-Ife on Monday when he received a delegation of Okun traditional rulers led by the Obaro of Kabba and the Chairman of the Okun Traditional Council, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi.
The Okun rulers were in Ile-Ife for the annual Aje Festival (Festival of Wealth).
The festival is an all-white attire affair which symbolizes purity, peace, unity and progressiveness with market women and men displaying their farm produce, food stuff, goods and products for the array of visitors who troop into the cradle of Yorubaland to savour the natural gift bestowed on the flourishing land of Ile Ife.
“I’m coming to Okun land very soon. Please invite me to all your activities. I will be coming with joy, glamour and honour, goodness and peace. Great companies, universities and polytechnics will come to Okunland by the grace of God,” the foremost Yoruba traditional ruler said.
According to the Ooni, plans are already in advanced stages for the establishment of the higher institutions for the Okun people.
He assured his royal guests of his commitment to the growth and development of the Yoruba people in Kogi State.
Oba Ogunwusi,who said he was elated to receive the Okun monarchs, prayed for the progress, development, peace and unity of Okun land and an improvement in the socio-economic lives of the people.
While promising his continued support for the Okun people, the Ooni said his royal guests must see their visit as home coming.
He said: “I want you all to see yourselves as one, I am also happy the we have been hearing of your yearnings and aspirations especially your quest for an institution of higher learning. By the grace of God, very soon we shall rejoice together. Am not deceiving you, this is the truth”
He added that the Aje Festival would give a new breath of life into the commercial and economic activities, not only in Ile-Ife and environs, but in Okunland, Yorubaland and the whole of Nigeria.
Earlier, the Obaro, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi described the Aje Festival as an economic summit and prayed God to bless Okunland with wealth that will ameliorate the suffering of the people.
“Our area is grappling with poverty and unfortunately we have resources that have not been tapped. In Ijumu Local Government Area alone, there’s marble in large quantities and we all know the industries that can come out of marble. Furthermore, in Mopa/Amuro, we have limestone. In Ayetoro Kiri in Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area, we have chalk also in large quantities. If some of these are properly tapped into, they will bring development to our land,” the Obaro said.
Oba Owoniyi said the delegation was in Ile-Ife to take a cue from the Aje Festival with a view to organizing an Okun Economic Summit later in the year.
The Obaro noted that the Okun people were proud to associate with the Ooni of Ife as well as the entire Yorubaland.
Others on the entourage of the Obaro are, the Olujumu of Ijumu, Oba Williams Olusegun Ayeni, Bajana of Obajana, Oba Idowu Isenibi, Elejuku of Ejuku, Oba Lamidi Folorunsho Ayeni, the Adetoro of Ayetoro Kiri, Oba Durowaiye Emmanuel Segun, the Oba of Oranre, Oba Olusegun Aliu and Oba Samuel Ibilaye, the Adetula II of Illai in Mopa/Amuro Local Government Area.