The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, yesterday formally took for wife, Wuraola Zainab Obanor from the famous Igun N’ Eromwon, the Benin Bronze Casters Guild.
The colourful traditional ceremony took place at the Benin City residence of the bride’s father, Mr. William Obanor, followed by a reception for guests at the Benin Hotel.
Represented by his father, Omooba Oluropo Ogunwusi, the Ooni paid the bride price at about 12:30pm after Wuraola was led out by family members with music provided by Inneh Theatre Troupe.
Before the payment of the bride price, the elder brother of the Ooni, Prince Adetunji Ogunwusi, informed the Obanor family why they were in Benin.
He said; “We are here to ask for the hand of Zynab. We will be happy if you grant us our request.”
Spokesman for the Obanors, Daniel Inneh, a retired Permanent Secretary, accepted the Ooni’s request on behalf of the family.
Wuraola was ushered out with dance and songs for the Ooni’s family to confirm her as the woman they came to take.
The traditional placement of the bride on the laps of the Ooni’s father was performed after the payment of the bride price.
Guests present at the event included Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin; HRH Idu Akenzua, the Enogie of Oghobaghase; HRH Anthony Osagie, the Enogie of Umegbe; HRH Eghosa Aimwansoba, the Enogie of Evbobuike; mother of the Ooni, Madam Margaret Ogunwusi; Alfred Eghobamien; and Chief Kingsley Inneh.
The bride later rode in a cream Limousine to the reception venue.
Chairman of the occasion and former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Femi Pedro, thanked the guests for honouring the Ooni’s invitation but said the Ooni was too big for him to advise on marital issues.
Chief John Ihama, the Ihama of Benin Kingdom, was delighted at the ceremony.
He said: “We are very happy. We will take it to royal home from royal homes as well.”
Father of Wuraola, Mr. Williams Obanor, said: “When you have a good thing in life you must be grateful to God because this is the work of God. I never thought that one day I would become very close to the Ooni of Ife. Now that it has happened, I feel grateful to God.
“My message for her is that she has to be very polite, obedient, understanding, believing much in God and whatever she needs she will get it. If you have any problem with your husband don’t let a third person hear of it, go to him and both of you should resolve the problem together amicably.”