The Arole Oodua, cum Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi(Ojaja II) has urged world leaders to invest in humanity through researches and documentation of historical facts rather than spending on nuclear weapons.
The Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) made the call Sunday evening at his Ile-Oodua Palace in Ile Ife while playing host to a team of researchers led by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jerome Pasquier.
The foremost African monarch who decried the huge amount of resources invested in the procurement of war weapons which he described as items of destruction, posited that the world will be a better place for all if such is spent to advance nature through archeological and historical researches that can establish the links connecting various nations in the world as one family.
“We are one people regardless of our cultural, racial, religious and social beliefs and the earlier we recognize this fact the better for us. Let us use our God given resources and potentials to document our history and research on archeology linking all of us together as one family even though separated by artificial national boundaries. These archeological items are useful for the unborn generations, rather than destroying ourselves with our own resources.” Ooni said
On the visit of the French’s Ambassador and other researchers to the ancient city, Ooni Ogunwusi revealed that there is a strong cultural relationship between France and Nigeria especially on the basis of kingship. He commended the visiting Ambassador and his team members for their commitment to the promotion of the prestigious African culture.
“Just recently, the French’s President, Mr. Emanuel Macron, visited Nigeria during which he stopped at some notable heritage sites including the famous musical shrine originated by the late Afro legend, our own Fella Anikulapo Kuti”.
“I have always said we are of one family source, the Europeans too are now corroborating me. The French government has been wonderful especially in ensuring that all our artifacts are returned to us in this part of Africa, they are working with us on this here in Ile-Ife, they are also working with the Benin kingdom. Of course you all know the strong relationship between the Benin Kingdom and we Yoruba people as direct descendants of Oduduwa who pioneered kingship in the world with this sacred throne I currently occupy as the AROLE OODUA and natural head of the Yoruba race worldwide.” The Ooni added.
Earlier in his address, Ambassador Jerome Pasquierwho was flanked by the French consular general, Mrs. Lawrence Nonnayrant, and other personalities admitted that the Ife kingdom occupies a huge place in history, adding that such historical relevance could be a source of economic gain if maximized.
“We in the Europe, especially the French love this king and we follow his unity and peace efforts. It is good to embrace civilization, but it is much more important to keep the traditional culture intact and I am very happy to see that culture and tradition are well kept in this kingdom of Ife which is the ancestral home of the great Yoruba nation despite its current civilized state.”
The ambassador said.
One of the researchers from the US told journalists he is in the town to join his colleagues from Europe and America who have been working on different archeological sites in Ile-Ife to corroborate the historical facts pointing to Yoruba race with Ile-Ife being its spiritual headquarters as cradle of mankind.
“There are facts pointing to this town as the source of humanity and it is through this archeological efforts like this the facts can be corroborated. Several of our colleagues have been working here in Ile-Ife for the past 4 years and a lot of positive mysteries of archeology have been discovered, that is why my university has sent me to come and join the work”. He said.
Also at the event, Dr(Mrs) Nokuthula Khumalo, an African cultural festivals researcher from Zulu in South African who is in Ile-Ife to witness this year’s forthcoming OLOJO festival admitted Yoruba race as the possible oldest race in the world saying the historical facts available to her confirm Ile-Ife as the cradle of mankind.
“3 years ago, precisely 2016, I was at the Lambeth Palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England when this Ooni of Ife and other Nigerian kings visited the Archbishop Justin Welby who told the visiting Ooni and his large entourage that the world actually originated from Africa. Highly fascinated by this, I thereafter engaged with some international archeologists and historians in Europe, America and Africa most of whom confirmed to me that the world started from a native tribe in the tropical part of Africa with emphasis on Yoruba race in West Africa. I went to the palace of the king of Acra in Ghana last year from where I was directed to Ile-Ife in Nigeria. What I have seen here in the last one week is so amazing and incredible. Africa must unite”. Dr Bhekumbuso said.
Director, Natural History Museum at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Adisa Ogunfolakan led the French ambassador and the international researchers to the Ooni’s palace while student-historians from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, University of Jos, University of Ibadan and representatives of the National Museum were also in attendance.
It would be recalled that the Ooni of Ife in conjunction with the Brazilian government recently unveiled the Oduduwa Mobile Museum for the purpose of showcasing the African arts and culture to the world.
The first of its kind mobile museum which already has a building called Yoruba Heritage House in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil donated by the Brazilian government also being planned unveiled in Paris, France next year in conjunction with the French embassy in Nigeria.
The untold story of legendary Obadoke Aare Latoosa | By Arowolo-Are Jubril
Like many other Ibadan war lords and rulers, Mohammad Obadoke Aare Latoosa was a native of Ilora, near Oyo. His father was Ore Orisa Oyatoosa while the mother bored Oyatooki. Both were river goddess worshippers.
Being young and adventurous, Obadoke left his parents’ Bantu house of Okutuoje compound at Ilora for Ibadan in search of greener pastures.
Although, an altercation with a prominent Oyo ruler was said to have prompted this move.
On his arrival in Ibadan, Obadoke settled at a place around Oniyanrin-Nalende axis ( in the present Ibadan North Local Government), where he engaged in palm wine selling.
Obadoke was reputed to be versed in the knowledge of palm tree planting that he could tell the harvest period and profits with faultless precision!
Then, his palm wine selling exploits connected him with Beyioku Akere one of the promising warriors in Ibadan land. Akere later introduced him to Ogunmola who held the title of Bada under Iba Oluyole during the period.
During their meeting, Obadoke Oyatoosa’s bravery, confidence and war situation exploits impressed Ogunmola and he drafted Oyatoosa into his private army for which he later became the captain.
In the bid to have Obadoke Oyatoosa closer to him, Ogunmola settled him at a hill top which was then a dreaded forest that harbored a dangerous human eating lion! The choice of the hill top (now Oke Aare) was not particularly the making of Ogunmola who thought Obadoke could not survive the deadly animal. But Oyatoosa opted to settle in, regardless of any kind of threats!
However, within the next few days, Obadoke caught the lion alive and took it on his shoulder to Ogunmola who was dazed with Oyatoosa’s bravery.
It’s interesting to know that Obadoke cut off the lion’s head and adopted it as one of his symbols of authority!
Having settled well at Oke Aare, he got married to Osubunmi, Ibeji and Moriola in succession but the unions were fruitless until after about 16 years when he had Sanusi as the first child. This happened after reverted to Islam and he believed that the change in religion influenced the birth of his son. There after, Obadoke adopted the name ‘Mohammad’ (Momodu in Yoruba pronunciation), with the aid of the then Emir of Ilorin, Abdul Salam who had earlier conquered Katunga, the capital of Old Oyo Empire with the fall of Afonja.
Since then, Mohammad Obadoke Oyatoosa never looked back. He was fully involved in many territorial conquests as the captain of Ogunmola’s private army from where he rose through the ranks until he got the ultimate title: Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land.
He started on the leadership line with the title of Are-Ago Balogun during the reign of Baale Oyesile Olugbode, (1851-1864), Otun Seriki during the time of Bashorun Ogunmola, (1865-1867) and Otun Balogun during the short reigns of Balogun Beyioku Akere (1867-1870), and Baale Orowusi Awarun Ososo (1870-1871). Akere as the Balogun during the reign of Bashorun Ogunmola was to assume the Baale position after Ogunmola’s demise but he, (Akere) deferred it until after he must have won Oke Ogun war. Although, Akere won but he died after his victorious return and few days to his installation.
To be continued…
Arowolo-Are Jubril, journalist and media consultant, sent this piece from Ibadan, Oyo state.
Ibadan 125 room-Irefin Palace to rival London’s Buckingham Palace, Oyo govt. boasts
Oyo State government has disclosed that the historical Irefin Palace in Ibadan has been positioned to rival the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom as the State has entered into agreement with private partners to promote notable tourist sites.
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated this recently while playing host to the Irefin Royal Family of Ibadan at his office.
The family held an historical significance of being the descendants of Oba Onirefin who built the biggest palace of 125 rooms in the history of Yorubaland, during his reign between 1912 to 1914.
Late Oba Onirefin was noted for his philanthropic efforts, especially in promotion of education as he was said to be the highest donor to the establishment of the popular Ibadan Grammar School where he donated 100 pounds and the land upon which the school was built.
Olatubosun boasted that the Seyi Makinde led government has turned away from the old style of neglecting tourism as a means of generating internal revenue and has adopted the public-private-partnership model to develop and promote major tourist sites in the State.
“We want to work with the Irefin Royal Family to bring more attention to the tourism potential of the palace and the significance of it to humanity, the palace is not just a structure, it symbolizes love, it symbolizes philanthropy.
“The late Oba Onirefin was a giver and lover of educational development, that is why the State government will support the family to promote the palace to be as famous as the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, look at the number of people that troop to the U.K to see the palace among other sites, it will generate goodwill for the government and promote the tourism industry in the State.”
The leader of the family who doubled as the Coordinator of the Irefin Historical Palace Foundation, Prince Omokayode Ayinla Irefin said the family was happy with the stride of Oyo State government towards promoting the tourism sector in the State.
Omokayode said the Irefin Palace Heritage Tourism Development Foundation has entered into agreement with a foreign partner to train youths that are interested in tourism and send them abroad for the practical aspect of the job.
He, however called on other notable families in the State with historical potentials to emulate the Irefin Tourism foundation so as to diversify the State’s economy and gain more from foreign input into tourism.
Oyo govt. expresses readiness to partner investors for tourist sites development
Oyo State Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun has hinted that the state has tourism potentials that could yield enough income and also generate employment if private investors and corporate bodies could collaborate with the present administration to develop the tourism sites.
The commissioner who stated this during a courtesy visit by the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) to his office last last Monday, also added that the present government in the state was committed to partnering with groups, associations, corporate bodies and individuals who are into the development of culture and tourism potentials.
He said this was due to the fact that the state is blessed with diverse traditional elements and tourist sites which when utilised and harnessed, would attract investors, provide employment and increase the IGR of the state.
“It is no news that Oyo State possesses more traditional elements that always attract foreing and local interests as well as tourism sites that when, harnessed, will bring enough fund to the State and booster its IGR, countries like Israel, Kenya, Italy and others do not rely on petroleum to survive, they use tourism to drive revenue.
“We are replicating same in Oyo State and it shall be successful with conscious collaboration of corporate interests and organizational support for the government in the areas of revamping, redesigning and facelifting our major traditional programmes and tourist-attractive sites, Ado-Awaye suspended lake is one site that has no equal in Africa, even United Nations should show interest.
“Governor Seyi Makinde has shown great interest in building the tourism industry to become a revenue-generating sector in the State, that is a quality of a leader that sees into the future and sees potentials for solutions where others are lamenting,” he said.
The Commissioner further assured the association of the state’s readiness to partner with the them in promoting the culture and tourist potentials around while also working together to promote the activities of the association through the Ministry’s various media platforms.
In his remarks, the Vice President Southwest Zone of FTAN, Otunba Ayo Olumoko, who spoke on behalf of the team expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception they got from the Ministry, saying that the association has been in existence in the past 23 years and has chapters of the association in all the 36 states of the federation.
Olumoko said the purpose of the visit was to acquaint the state government, through the Ministry, of their efforts at sanitizing the tourism industry in Nigeria and put in place a structured executive body in each state to oversee its activities in line with the mandate of the association.
He promised a robust relationship with Oyo State government through the Ministry so that activities in the tourism sector would not be hijacked by miscreants.
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