The Arole Oodua & 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 Go d 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 that 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 confirmed 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 Accra 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 will 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 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil donated by the Brazilian government also being planned was unveiled in Paris, France next year in conjunction with the French embassy in Nigeria.