Ooni promotes Ife’s rich tourism potentials, historical mysteries
… Designates Ife Tourism free zone
Ile Ife, the cradle of Yoruba history and civilisation is blessed with lots of rich historical facts, mysteries and tourism potentials among others.
Some of these cultures, mysteries and rich historical facts have helped in shaping Ife, as a centre for Yoruba history and mytholology.
This is coming on the heels of the declaration of Ile Ife as a Free Tourism Zone on Saturday 27th February by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, which is part of the effort aimed at opening Ife for tourists.
Speaking in his palace when some tourism Journalists from Lagos and Ibadan paid him a courtesy visit in his palace in Ile Ife, the Ojaja II, stated that on Saturday, 27th, Ife will be declared a free tourism zones during the Ife day celebration.
Oba Ogunwusi said the declaration will promote tourism activities that will not only attract investors and investment but also ignite economic activities, employment and revenue for the people of Osun.
The Ooni promised to transform Ife to another destination for cultural, spiritual and leisure tourism enclave for both domestic and international tourists which will be will be the first phase of the expansion bid.
According to him, “Ife is significant in the history of humanity and that is the content we want to develop and promote for people to see.”
In the words of Oba Ogunwusi, the 51st Ooni of Ife, ” the Tower of Babel and the Ark of Noah in the Bible are all in Ife land.”
The coming of Oba Ogunwusi, has taken Ife on a higher tourism and cultural pedestal considering his desire to promote tourism not only in Ife, but also in Osun and Nigeria in general.
To actualise this vision without wasting time, the Ooni has set the ball rolling with the commencement of the construction of the Ife Grand Resort, in Ife to replicate the Inagbe Grand Resort in Lagos.
Ooni explained that tourism now is a different ball game, adding that he has formed a strong alliance with Lacampaigne Tropicana to propel that tourism vision.
He noted that, “for the resort here in Ife, what is driving it is bigger than what we have in Lagos, the resort in Ife is very strategic because people will come from all over the world to see the mysteries and they will ask questions, what’s happening, like I told you last year in Lagos, am a visionary person, I foresee things and I like to project in a very strategic manner, that is my vision for tourism.”
According to him, the mysteries in Ife which has been hidden for a long time now are too many, like in this palace we have like three, beside the palace, you will see one, the yeyemolu, is an amazing place, is my wife in the palace, is the water, she is alive, she is a place that has life in it.
“They will take you there, they will explain the ‘Yeye molu’ to you, she is alive and am proud to be associated with her. She doesn’t like to be covered, she want to have nature and the world directly, the more you cover it, the more she gets annoyed and breaks whatever you use to cover it before the next day morning, if you put bulldozer there, she will break it. You cannot take the water out, but you can drink it, wash you hands and it will cleanse your spirit”, the Ooni stated.
He explained that: “Recently, I granted an interview where I just mentioned two of the mysteries and everybody said no, is impossible, it can never be here, but the truth is that is here, I mentioned the story of the tower of Babel in the Bible, is in Ife land, the second one I mentioned is the act of Noah, it is here, but people say no way, but the truth is that it is here, the tower of Bable they said it is in Egypt, no is not in Egypt, it is here because the two stories are very synonymous, God created the world and destroyed it with the great flood, you all know the story of the great flood and the art of Noah story, the art built to save some souls, plants, animals etcetera, but the Art of Noah is here, is a mystery place, is along Okeora, the entire Okeora is more than 1000 miles in stretch.
“If you are not careful you will lost, it is there, it along the belt of Okeora, it runs all the way from Ife to Ondo state, Edo state, it gets to Benin, it is a mystery mountain all the way, the mountain till the end of Benin Edo state is full of mystery. I told the world a beat of the story, though our people like to see things, so when they see, they believe, no problem, so God left those land marks there, when you see it believe it too.”
He explained further that Ife has too many mysteries and landmarks, stressing that God left mysteries for us to see these landmarks.
The land marks are there, they have been here for millions of years and we still have them and am glad to showcase it to you, the tourism Journalists including the resort, he said.
“You know God thrives in mysteries, you know people go to Mecca for pilgrimage, for Ife, forget it, is so many here. Ife has so many ministries and we will be given some of these mysteries to companies, corporate organisations to be branding them and people will be coming to see them starting from the palace and so many other places. That is the essence of tourism, so that everybody in the world will come and see mysteries, is normal, is very magnetic, you know tourism is movement, so when people moves, tourism moves, both international tourism.
“What is driving Ife is very simple, too many mysteries in this land, and I tell people, we are not talking about Supremacy here. Ife in English language means land of expansion, there is no land that has that name in the world. And I will tell the Journalists to watch a very powerful documentary put together by the western world, it is called the story of the origin of man, very powerful, when you watch it, you will be very proud to be an African man, everything started from here, there was another world that was pre genesis world, is a fantastic documentary”, his Majesty explained.
The Ooni disclosed that today, the fastest growing religion in the world is the African religion, faster than Christianity, faster than Islam all over the world.
“Why, because everybody is realising that is from tropical Africa and we been trying to pin point it from the source in Ile Ife”, he said.