The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, on Sunday began seven days of seclusion preceding the annual ‘Olojo’ Festival in the ancient city.

‘Olojo’ in Yoruba means ‘the day of the first dawn’, but in the lores of Ile-Ife, the Olojo Festival is an annual cultural festival created to celebrate the day the Almighty created the earth.

Speaking before going incommunicado, Oba Ogunwusi said that he would dedicate this year’s seven-day seclusion to pray for a better Nigeria.

The Ooni said that Nigerians had every cause to thank God in view of the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the rest of the world.

“When we compare what have been happening in other nations, we have every cause to glorify God, for He has been so faithful to us by delivering us from the power of Coronavirus.

“Our efforts to protect people from the pandemic by providing fumigators for 36 states and Abuja, the FCT cannot be over-emphasised.

“But we shouldn’t relent in our efforts to see to the welfare of people generally that’s why am dedicating my sixth seclusion on the throne to pray for our leaders.

“Seclusion is so significant that I cannot joke with, because I inherited it from my ancestors thousands years ago,” Ooni explained.

The Oba said that he would also use his period seclusion to pray for God to touch the hearts of Nigerian politicians to stop playing games with people’s lives and be sensitive to people’s yearnings.

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“Our politicians in this country have the same value, same character, politicians, but am going into seclusion to pray for our leaders to have change of mind, so that things could get better.

“Our leaders should be ready to serve us genuinely, as promised during their campaigns, so am going there to pray to my ancestors to touch their hearts, for them to make life more bearable to us.

“We cannot continue like this, things need to change and there cannot be any change without the hands of God, for the prayer of the righteous availeth much,” the Ooni said. (NAN)