Next month, history will repeat itself in Ile-Ife, when the Osun state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola steps out to crown Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwunsi as the new Ooni of Ile-Ife.
By so doing, he will be the second governor from Ijesha town, to crown new Ooni. This feat was first achieved in December 1983, when the late Chief Bola Ige, the then governor of Oyo State, crowned the former Ooni, the late Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse 11.
Ogunwusi’s immediate predecessor, late Ooni Sijuwade was installed before the creation of Osun state.
Since the demise of the late Oba Sijuwade and the choice of Ooni-elect Ogunwusi as his successor, Ile-Ife has been a centre of attraction due to the fierce battle that characterized the selection of the next Ooni of Ife.
However, unknown to most Nigerians, the emergence of Ogunwusi as the new Ooni of Ife, was mainly orchestrated and executed, not by the Ife kingmakers of the Osoros, but by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Akanbi Tinubu, the Governor Emeritus of Lagos State and the national Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The ELITES exclusively gathered that following the death of Oba Sijuwade last July, Asiwaju Tinubu re-ignited his age-long aspiration to install his close friend and business associate, Prince Dipo Eludoyin, as the next Ooni of Ife.
The ELITES learnt that Tinubu felt crushed when Eludoyin bluntly refused to be drawn into the racy race for the Ooni’s throne. When the quiet and self-effacing billionaire was buffeted by pressure from all angles by his friends, he left Nigeria.
Eludoyin, a bedroom-sharing confidant of Asiwaju Tinubu, sought a temporary respite in China, until the tension, occasioned by the contest for the Ooni of Ife abated.
The multi-billionairen businessman had confided in some of his friends that he would not have time for the demands of such a huge traditional role.
Prince Dipo Eludoyin, a holder of the Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, MFR, is the Chairman of Paragon Group. His company owns the popular Ikeja Mall. However, most of his business ventures are also domiciled in China, which is like his second country.
Deflated by Eludoyin’s decision to chicken out of the race, Asiwaju Tinubu began to fish for another candidate, to install as the next Ooni.
It was at this juncture that Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Kusenla 111, stepped into the picture. It is pertinent to add that Asiwaju Tinubu had singlehandedly installed the Ikateland monarch in 2010. Oba Elegushi served as the Personal Assistant to Asiwaju Tinubu. He was also a Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties to former governor Babatunde Fashola between 2007 and 2010.
Moreover, in 2003, Asiwaju Tinubu had single handedly installed Oba Rilwan Aremu Osuolale Akinolu as the Oba of Lagos.
The ELITES exclusively gathered that Oba Elegushi had approached his former boss and sold the candidacy of Prince Ogunwusi to him. Aside being close friends, Elegushi and Ogunwusi have been involved in remarkable partnerships in real estate developments. This partnership has resulted in the development of LakeView Park 2, Lafiaji, Off Orchid Hotel Road, Lekki – Epe Expressway.
It was gathered that Asiwaju Tinubu was not so enthusiastic about ‘investing’ in Ogunwusi’s candidacy. He was reported to have nursed some reservations not about the barrages of court cases, the Ife Prince was carrying into the race. However, with persistence prodding and pleading from Oba Elegushi, he caved in and bought into Ogunwusi’s bid for the Ooni’s stool.
Even before he got the seal of approval from the Lion of Bourdillon, the Ooni-designate, Ogunwusi, had showered and spoilt the Ife kingmakers with both financial and material gift. Each of the kingmakers became a proud owner of choice auromobile, while some of them became N20million richer.
Sources who were privy to Ooni-designate Ogunwusi’s war chest declaration on his bid for the throne, revealed that his aspiration was principally bankrolled by the Managing Director of a First generation bank, who loves wearing gold chain.
Invariably, when Asiwaju Tinubu felt the time was ripe to announce the new Ooni, he instructed Governor Aregbesola to announce Ogunwusi. According to reliable sources, Asiwaju Tinubu simply instructed Aregbesola thus; “Go and announce that friend of Saheed Elegushi as the next Ooni of Ife,”
It was a fiat order, which Aregbesola dared not flout. But one which, he, surreptitiously carried out, in a way.
The ELITES gathered that Governor Aregbesola was expressly ordered by his leader, Asiwaju Tinubu to join him in London on Sunday night. He was also, specifically, advised to board his flight before the announcement was made. Before he left Osogbo for Lagos, from where he later scampered to London, Aregbesola, reportedly, instructed the Secretary to the Government of Osun State, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti to make the announcement, only after he had boarded the aircraft and left the shores of Nigeria.
Presently, Aregbesola is still away in London. So also is his leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The two politicians have been monitoring events from their London base. They are expected to return to Nigeria this weekend.
Culled from The Elites