For­est Heights hosts African prince

Visit looks to pro­mote stronger re­la­tions be­tween U.S., Africa

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES jclinkscales@somd­news.com

Pro­mot­ing stronger re­la­tions to fur­ther de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween Africa and the U.S., the Town of For­est Heights hosted his im­pe­rial majesty Ooni of Ife, Oba Adey­eye Eni­tan Ogun­wusi, Ojaja II, dur­ing his visit to the For­est Heights Mu­nic­i­pal Build­ing on June 16.

Ogun­wusi ar­rived in true royal fash­ion as he and his wife were led by an en­tourage of about 50 peo­ple in­clud­ing se­cu­rity per­son­nel, dancers, as­sis­tants and other dig­ni­taries from Nige­ria, most of whom were dressed in long col­or­ful African dashikis and print skirts.

“What we are ex­tend­ing to his majesty is an of­fer, an in­vi­ta­tion to be our sis­ter city,” said Town of For­est Heights Mayor Jac­que­line Goodall, who is also pres­i­dent of Mary­land Black May­ors Inc.. “And in that, I hope that we can be able to be­gin to build some in­ter­na­tional re­la­tion­ships with them to have a fur­ther un­der­stand­ing of not only his city, but also to open up a re­la­tion­ship with the other kings and gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties of Nige­ria. I be­lieve it’s so im­por­tant that we here in Amer­ica, and es­pe­cially Prince Ge­orge’s County, that we be­gin to have a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship and that we be­gin to un­der­stand that we need each other in or­der for us to pros­per.”

When it comes to help­ing the county pros­per, Goodall says she al­ways con­sid­ers how new re­la­tion­ships will ben­e­fit the res­i­dents.

“I know in the past that Prince Ge­orge’s County has had real di­a­logue with other African coun­tries. One of the things that I have done is I’ve spoke to the African coun­cil and they ex­plained to me that there is not as much em­pha­sis now be­ing put on the re­la­tion­ship with Africa. … I be­gan to un­der­stand that there is so many job op­por­tu­ni­ties for im­port and ex­port. There’s also a greater un­der­stand­ing that we must have of our African coun­ties but par­tic­u­larly Nige­ria, which is one of the fastest grow­ing coun­tries. Their [gross do­mes­tic prod­uct] is like No. 6 in the emerg­ing coun­tries in the world. So we as busi­ness peo­ple should pay at­ten­tion to that and we should be­gin to build these re­la­tion­ships and not be left out.”

As an as­tute en­tre­pre­neur driven by turn­ing im­pos­si­bil­i­ties to pos­si­bil­i­ties, Ogun­wusi has a clear track record of com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment start­ing with his home­town in Nige­ria. He set up and fos­tered strong trade re­la­tion­ships through the As­so­ci­a­tion for In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness with a pres­ence in more than 200 mem­ber coun­tries across the globe. One of the achieve­ments of this body in­cludes the trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion be­tween the United Arab Emi­rates — Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone De­vel­op­ment — and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of Nige­ria through the Nige­ria In­vest­ment

Pro­mo­tion Com­mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to a bi­og­ra­phy from his web­site.

“We have be­fore us a king who is a peo­ple’s king. A king who has made peace, unity and love. A king whose en­ter­pris­ing has the love for the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man­ity start­ing not just in Nige­ria, [but through­out] Africa,” said Con­ti­nen­tal African Coun­cil Di­rec­tor Remi Duy­ile, a Nige­rian Amer­i­can who was re­cently ap­pointed di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Demo­cratic Party’s Con­ti­nen­tal African Di­ver­sity Lead­er­ship Coun­cil. “A leader in Africa who is al­ready im­pact­ing lives and needs the sup­port of all of us to en­sure that we leave full in this planet Earth and do the best that we need to do.”

Ogun­wusi has forged re­spectable al­liances with some of the most es­teemed royal fa­thers, lead­ers and kings. He led Nige­ria’s gov­ern­ment del­e­ga­tion to Canada in 2002 which pro­moted strate­gic al­liances through a part­ner­ship with the Ondo State Gov­ern­ment on solid min­eral — bi­tu­men, di­men­sion stones, gran­ite, etc. — po­ten­tials of the state, which gave rise to the for­ma­tion of the Amal­ga­mated Min­ing and Ex­plo­ration Com­pany Lim­ited. Dur­ing that same year, Ogun­wusi was able to re­vi­tal­ize the pro­cess­ing of rice and set­ting them into dif­fer­ent groups and sub cat­e­gories. He do­nated rice and till­ing equip­ments to the Oyo and Ogun state chap­ters of the Rice Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria, ac­cord­ing to his bi­og­ra­phy.

“I am very de­lighted for us to con­nect back to our blood broth­ers and sis­ters be­cause I al­ways say, ‘The great­est joy in this world is joy of orig­i­na­tion,’” Ogun­wusi said as he gave open­ing re­marks to con­stituents and his en­tourage. “For the world to be a bet­ter place, we should all come to­gether and live like one big happy fam­ily. It is very im­por­tant for us to re­al­ize that we should all come to­gether to make this world a bet­ter place.”

Ogun­wusi was in­volved in the trad­ing and mar­ket- ing of com­modi­ties as the main fa­cil­i­ta­tor for Dan­gote Group’s break into the up-coun­try sup­ply chain con­sor­tium be­tween 1996 and 1999. To men­tion a few, he traded for Do­ha­gro Al­lied, Global Apex, Olam, Clemco, Stal­lion Group and Mi­lan Group at about the same pe­riod. He also fa­cil­i­tated the big­gest lead and alu­minum re­cy­cling plant set up in Nige­ria by the Na­tional Steel Com­pany of In­dia in Ota, Ogun State, ac­cord­ing to the bi­og­ra­phy.

Fur­ther­more, Ogun­wusi led a team that opened up a re­mote jun­gle called Inagbe Is­land in Amuwo-Od­ofin LGA, Lagos. The team trans­formed Inagbe Is­land into a whole new com­mu­nity of­fer­ing world class re­lax­ation and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties. The multi-bil­lion Naira Inagbe Grand Re­sorts and Leisure is the first of its kind in the whole of West Africa bounded by the Lagos La­goon and the At­lantic Ocean. With this feat, Ogun­wusi aims to in­crease Nige­ria’s GDP through tourism and re­duce un­em­ploy­ment by pro­vid­ing di­rect and in­di­rect em­ploy­ment, the biog- ra­phy also noted.

“Our supreme be­ing cre­ated us to be lead­ers,” Ogun­wusi said. “No other per­son can do it; it’s only us. It’s a sac­ri­fice for the en­tire mankind.”

Ogun­wusi is set to visit the White House in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., this week where he will re­ceive the Am­bas­sador of Peace Award for his work.

“We are cut from the same cloth,” Ogun­wusi said af­ter Goodall pre­sented him with a procla­ma­tion, let­ter of friend­ship and hon­orary life mem­ber­ship into the Mary­land Black May­ors Inc. “The en­tire black race, the con­ti­nent of Africa is all yours. Let us come to­gether.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

Town of Lan­dover Hills Mayor Lee P. Walker re­ceives a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from Prince Ogun­wusi for his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ini­tia­tive.

Town of For­est Heights Mayor Jac­que­line Goodall, left, presents a procla­ma­tion to Ooni of Ife, Oba Adey­eye Eni­tan Ogun­wusi, Ojaja II, dur­ing his visit to the For­est Heights Mu­nic­i­pal Build­ing on June 16. Ogun­wusi — who also re­ceived a let­ter of friend­ship and an hon­orary life mem­ber­ship into the Mary­land Black May­ors, Inc. — is vis­it­ing se­lect cities through­out the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., met­ro­pol­i­tan area to fur­ther de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment re­la­tions be­tween Africa and the U.S. The White House will host Ogun­wusi this week to honor him with a peace am­bas­sador award.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

Prince Ogun­wusi presents a spe­cial plaque to Goodall to sym­bol­ize his agree­ment to work to­gether and build stronger re­la­tions with the Town of For­est Heights and Prince Ge­orge’s County.

Con­ti­nen­tal African Coun­cil Di­rec­tor Remi Duy­ile in­tro­duces Prince Ogun­wusi be­fore he takes the podium. Duy­ile is a Nige­rian Amer­i­can who was re­cently ap­pointed di­rec­tor of the Mary­land Demo­cratic Party’s Con­ti­nen­tal African Di­ver­sity Lead­er­ship Coun­cil in De­cem­ber 2015.

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