…As former President, Obasanjo salutes Ooni for honouring the Sangingas
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, last weekend conferred the title of Aare Afurugbin-Ola of the Source (Lead Sower of Wealth and Prosperity of the House of Oduduwa) on the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga.
The conferment which took place at Ile Oodua, Ooni’s palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria was in recognition of Dr. Sanginga’s achievements as one of the illustrious sons of Africa who has contributed immensely to the development and promotion of the financial and economic stability and growth of the continent.
Speaking shortly before the conferment of the title on the IITA Chief, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi stated that the conferment of the title was, indeed, an honour that was well respected and regarded not only in Yoruba land but also in Africa.
Ogunwusi pointed out that since assuming office in 2011, Dr. Sanginga had displayed exceptional commitment to initiatives which had placed the African continent on the global stage especially in the agricultural arena hence deserving every honour done to him.
Oba Ogunwusi, while praying for the IITA boss and his wife said that their new offices would further enhance the roles they have been playing in promoting agriculture.
Explaining the symbols associated with the title as presented to him (Dr. Sanginga), the Ooni said that anybody with the hoe would never lack food because all he needed to do was till the land and plant something.
According to him, “We are handing over hoe made of bronze, it has a spiritual meaning because bronze days started from the throne of Oduduwa and it now extended all over the world. All the bronze heads you are seeing are our ancestors; they even cast their names and keep it to perpetuity. We are using what God has given us on this throne to pray. The first one is the bronze that is made of gold, you will never lack anything in your life, glory will continue to go with you, honour will continue to go with you and adoration will continue to go with you.
“Another thing is cutlass, the cutlass that we have here is made of gold again and it will last to perpetuity, generation upon generations to come will actually see it because it will remain in your museum, the same way our ancestors had it several thousands of years and it is our inheritance today.
“Today, we are handing over cutlass to you; your road will never ever be blocked. Anybody with cutlass, the road doesn’t block for that person. Your road will continue to grow from strength and you will continue to grow from glory to glory, you will continue to grow from honour to honour, you will continue to grow from adoration to adoration. God almighty will continue to guide you.”
On his part, a former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo specially thanked the Ooni, on behalf of the Sanginga family both in Nigeria and elsewhere particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo for “the special honour done to somebody who has dedicated his life to agriculture and food and nutrition security in Africa” believing that nobody could be said to be worthy of the honour that Dr. Sanginga and his wife were being bestowed.
He said, “I will say that the Sangingas regard this as a challenge to do more than what they have done at this moment and I will want to assure you from what I know of the Sangingas and what I know of his work and commitment to agriculture that he will live up to the expectations and to the honour that we have bestowed on him.”
Also speaking, the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde who was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Segun Ogunwuyi said that the event was about recognizing excellence and dedication to duty adding that “it is an event that has proven that once someone is dedicated, the person will be recognized irrespective of where you come from.”
Continuing, he said, “Do your best for humanity and then, your recognition will come. That is why the DG IITA is being recognized today and being conferred with the title of Aare afrurgbin-Ola of the Source.”
Commenting on the title bestowed on him by the Ooni of Ife and indeed, the entire Yoruba nation, the recipient and Director General, IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga appreciated the Ooni for the honour done him and his wife adding that to whom much is given, much is expected from him.
He pointed out that the honour would only spur him to do more for humanity insisting that it was nothing but a call for more dedication and commitment to solving problems confronting man especially in agriculture and food security.
The conferment event which was the first of international honorary chieftaincy in the reign of the current king – the 51st Oonirisa of Ile-Ife hosted captains of industries from all over Africa, former Heads of State including Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, representative of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Prof. Rwamba Ntimba, the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Nigeria, diplomats from within and outside Africa, politicians of repute including form Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Rashid Ladoja, the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola who was represented by his Deputy, members of the development community and other stakeholders in diaspora.
The event was expected to promote the socio-economic and cultural ties between Nigeria and Dr. Sanginga’s home country – the Democratic Republic of Congo, two Africa’s most endowed countries in terms of human and natural resources.
Photo 1: Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (right) crowning the Director General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga as the Aare Afurugbin-Ola of the Source at the Ile-Oodua, Ooni’s Palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria at the weekend.
Photo 2: (L-R): Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Aare Afurugbin-Ola of the Source and Director General, IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II and Mrs. Charlotte Sanginga shortly after the conferment of the title on the Sangingas in Ile-Ife at the weekend.
Photo 3: Dr. Nteranya Sanginga and wife, Charlotte shortly after the conferment of the title by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II in Ile-Ife at the weekend.
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