Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has called on world leaders to invest in humanity through researches and documentation of historical facts to promote cultural and traditional values as well as peace and unity across the globe instead of nuclear weapons which are meant for destruction.
The monarch, who is the co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), made the call at his Ile-Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife, Osun State, when he hosted a team of researchers, led by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier.
He expressed disgust at world leaders’ penchant for investing whooping amounts of resources on procurement of war weapons which he referred to as items of destruction.
The monarch said the world would be a better place if such resources were invested on archeological and historical researches capable of connecting various nations in the world as one family.
“We are one people regardless of our different cultural, racial, religious and social beliefs. The earlier we recognise this fact, the better for us. Let us use our God-given resources and potentials to document our history and research on archeology that can link us together as one family even though we are separated by artificial national boundaries.
“These archeological items are useful for the unborn generations, rather than destroying ourselves with our own resources,” the monarch said.
While explaining the rationale behind the visit of the ambassador and other researchers’ visit, the Ooni said there was a strong cultural relationship between France and Nigeria, especially on the basis of kingship.
He commended them for their commitment to the promotion of the African cultures and traditions.
“Just recently, the French’s President, 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 Fela 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 all our artefacts 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 world wide,” he said.
Earlier, Pasquierwho in company with the French Consular General, Lawrence Nonnayrant, and other personalities admitted that the Ife kingdom occupied a huge place in history.
He said such historical relevance could be a source of economic gain if maximised.
“We in the Europe, especially the French, love this king and we follow his unity and peace efforts. It is good to embrace civilisation, 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 civilised state,” the ambassador said.