Years after the war ended, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has disclosed his plans to rebuild damaged parts of Ile Ife and Modakeke.
The last Ife/Modakeke communal war, triggered by a land tussle and disagreement over the site of the headquarters of the Ife East Local Government Area, lasted four years between 1997 and 2001 and claimed several lives, while property worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The monarch disclosed his rebuilding plans, while speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, at the Government House, Osogbo.
Oba Ogunwusi explained that after the war, despite the huge damages the two warring towns experienced, there had been no serious efforts to rebuild damaged parts of the towns.
To this end, the Ooni said he had set up the Oduduwa Development Trust Fund to finance the rebuilding plans, urging Aregbesola to assist the town by enacting a law to give the fund backing.
According to him, the efforts of Governor Aregbesola aimed at leaving good legacies after exiting office are enough to support all efforts to develop the state.
He called for a more united Yorubaland and Nigeria in the interest of peace and development, saying that he would always lead efforts to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
The monarch said, “We are all here to show our appreciation to the governor. I use this opportunity to say that our relationship will continue to grow. What we have in Ife is great to the extent that foreigners acknowledge it. Europeans have been to Ife and they likened us to the Roman Empire and other empires of the world. The time has come for all and sundry to see the greatness of Ife and Osun.
“Leaders in Ife are more closer to the people than government, I want to assure that the change and development that has come to Ife will spread across Osun. I don’t want to believe that it will be difficult for our people in Osun to pay tax, the only way we can help government is by paying tax.”
In his remarks, Governor Aregbesola, urged traditional rulers in the state to help government in educating people on the need for the payment of tax, stressing that the Ooni, in his capacity as father to all monarchs, should assist government in that regard