Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has said that the adoption of western culture by Africans as a standard way of living is responsible for the waning state of African culture and tradition.
Oba Ogunwusi stated this at the 2015/2016 annual lecture of the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos, last Thursday.
Speaking on the theme of the lecture, “Redefining the Role of Traditional Institutions for National Development, Oba Ogunwusi said total absorption of western life at the expense of true African culture and values, has brought a lot of confusion in human existence regarding culture and tradition.
The frontline traditional ruler, who was accompanied by his wife, Olori Wuraola Otiti Ogunwusi and his royal entourage, said though there is nothing wrong in borrowing and sharing ideas, but it should be properly aligned for the benefit of the black race.
Citing that civilisation truly started from the black race, he urged African leaders to go back to the roots, and trace how things went wrong in the continent with a view to fixing it, adding that a society where cultural values thrives witnesses a lot of progress than where it diminishes.
He said, “A lot of things that we have borrowed from the western world has actually confused a lot of our very deep and in-depth culture and traditions. There is nothing wrong in borrowing ideas and initiatives, but the two can be properly blended to make this world a better place.
“Before our colonial masters came, they met structures, tradition and kingship system in our midst. They saw all our traditional leaders and our elders. The way affairs were being directed and for almost 400 years they were in our midst. Transatlantic Slave Trade affected a lot of things. At some point, there were no boundaries in Africa, there were no demarcation in Africa, but kingdoms and territories were secured and we all have mutual respect for one another across the entire continent of Africa.
He continued, “In 1884, after Berlin conference, our colonial masters decided that the entire Africa should be demarcated, and the scramble for Africa started. It took one of the greatest leaders in this world, Abraham Lincoln for slave trade to be abolished. How has that affected us? We need to go back to our root. How did we loose our values, our heritage? It is very important for us to know all the good things in the pre colonial days.”
Expressing his desire to play a very strong role in redefining traditional institutions in Nigeria for the benefit of the nation, the Ooni said with proper harmonisation of traditional institutions into governance, insurgency, chaos and disorderliness in the country would be defeated.
He urged the Federal Government to work very closely with the key traditional rulers across the country, so that the nation would witness peace and development.
“Traditional leadership is pivotal to nation building, they are the group that relates with the people, they are closer to the people, they see them regularly and they liaise with the people more often.”
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