The Arole Oodua & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II and the gaming magnate, Sir Adebutu Kessington laid foundation for the construction of Oodua Heritage House witnessed by top dignitaries at the Ile Oodua Palace of the Ooni in Ile Ife, Osun State on Friday.
According to details given about the project, the building which was initiated, designed and sponsored by Chief Adebutu is a multimillion naira worth edifice, structured to be a heritage of the entire Yoruba race.
While laying the foundation, Ooni Ogunwusi who revealed that there are buildings of several hundred of years in Ile Ife added that the new structure will live more to the benefit of the Yoruba race and also immortalize Sir Adebutu.
“You have immortalized yourself with this structure and other good works you have been doing for our race, Oduduwa and other ancestors of ours are currently watching and I am sure that they are proud of you.
“We can’t but keep thanking the Almighty Olodumare for your good life which you have dedicated to prompt service to humanity. On behalf of the Yoruba race and the entire Oduduwa people worldwide, I thank you for giving us this unique gift.” The Ooni noted.
In his response, Sir Kessington thanked the Ooni for providing him a platform through which to serve the Yoruba race, adding that he is more passionate about the project because of its benefits to the unity of the race.
According to a breakdown given by Akogun Kola Onadipe while presenting the model of the building before the happy crowd, the Oodua Heritage House when completed will have a museum where Yoruba artifacts and other historical materials will be kept and displayed for local and foreign tourists.
Also, it will contain a fully equipped Yoruba library for knowledge seekers, an open field for events and sporting activities as well as an Imperial Banquet Hall among others.
To realize the targeted 12 months for its completion, at least one thousand skilled workers like surveyors, carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers and others are set to begin work on the site with about their two thousand unskilled counterparts.
Former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo olusegun Osoba, Asiwaju of Ife Chief Alex Duduyemi and Chief Rasak Okoya were among the dignitaries at the event, while the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Olu of Yewa Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and other top Yoruba monarchs were present at the event preceding the installation of Kessington as the Odole Oodua.
Ooni Ogunwusi will install Sir Adebutu Kessington as the Odole Oodua after completion of necessary traditional rites on Saturday at his palace, in an event scheduled to be fully attended by top personalities across the country and beyond.