The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has received a team of researchers on a fact-finding mission on the Yoruba race.
The international researchers, led by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jerome Pasquier, were taken to the Ooni’s palace by the Director, Natural History Museum, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Adisa Ogunfolakan.
Student-historians from OAU, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, University of Jos, (UniJos) University of Ibadan (UI) and representatives of the National Museum joined the international researchers on the mission.
One of the researchers from the United States of America said he joined his colleagues from Europe and America who had been working on different archaeological sites in Ile-Ife to corroborate the historical facts on the Yoruba race and Ile-Ife, being its spiritual headquarters, as the cradle of mankind.
Pasquier observed that Ife kingdom “occupies a huge place in history” and that such historical relevance would be a source of economic gain if maximized.
The French envoy said, “We in Europe, especially the French, love this king and we are following up. It is good to embrace civilization, but it is much more important to keep the traditional culture intact. 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 the civilization.”
An African cultural festivals researcher from Zululand, South Africa, Dr Nokuthula Khumalo, remarked, “I went to the palace of the king of Accra, 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.”
The Ooni of Ife expressed the need to channel appropriate resources to advance archeological and historical researches that can establish the links connecting various nations in the world as one family, and to promote love and discourage war.
Oba Ogunwusi said, “We are one people, regardless of our cultural, racial, religious and social beliefs. We should use our God-given resources and potentials to document our history and research on archaeology linking all of us together as one family, though separated by artificial national boundaries.
“This is better than spending money on weapons to fight wars and destroy ourselves. These archaeological items are useful for the unborn generations, and the peace will remain.”
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