The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has set up the House of Oduduwa Trust Fund for the rebuilding of the property destroyed during the war between Ife and Modakeke.
Ogunwusi said this on Wednesday when he visited Governor Rauf Aregbesola to express appreciation to him after his installation as the 51st Ooni of Ife.
The monarch said the two communities had resolved to permanently end the animosity between them, saying the youth who had been jobless hitherto should be assisted to start some jobs on their own.
He said some of the steps he had taken had led to a drastic reduction in the crime rate in Ife, saying his aim was to create jobs to get a large number of youths engaged in productive ventures.
He said, “Violence has gone down in Ife. The youth in the town have renounced violence. Our programme is similar to the Osun State Youths Empowerment Scheme, and because of this, we will be coming to you regularly. We will always bring our programmes to you.
“The war between Ife and Modakeke caused large scale destruction of lives and property. We have been assured that the crisis is over. There is no more war. The animosity was on for over 200 years.
“We have set up a trust fund. Government always helps communities ravaged by war, but this has not happened in Ife and Modakeke.
“We have set up House of Oduduwa Development Trust Fund and we want it to be signed into law. We will raise money through it to assist the youth to establish means of livelihood.”
The Ooni encouraged residents of the state to support the government by paying their taxes, saying government should not be overburdened, especially at this time of financial challenge.
Aregbesola, who expressed happiness at the visit of the monarch, urged him to use his position as the paramount monarch in Yoruba land to bring everybody together.
The governor said Ogunwusi had started executing parts of the projects he had in mind while contesting for the governorship election.
He stated that Ile Ife and the Yoruba race had richer cuilture than the western world, saying promoting it will help the people to further appreciate them.
Aregbesola solicited for the support of the people of the state for the government to continue to discharge its duties without hindrance.
He said the state could still continue with development projects and other social amenities if everybody paid their taxes to the government.
According to him, Osun State can rake in N40bn as revenue from cocoa only.
He said, “I want to also ask traditional rulers to use their position to ensure that farmers are enjoined not to take their cocoa out of the state for grading.
“We have been able to enumerate 66 million fruit-bearing cocoa trees that can give us 330,000 metric tonnes, as against the 18,000 metric tonnes.”