Michael Olanrewaju, Osogbo.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja 11), on Saturday at Chatham House United Kingdom (UK) called for renaissance of African race just as he lauded his late mother’s core values of responsibility as preparatory ground for leadership roles as an individual and traditional ruler.
In a press release by the Director, Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, the foremost African monarch said, “Africans should go back to their root. This is very important to rise-up to that occasion and know that at some point things were running well in Africa when the traditional rulers were at the forefront. Let us blend our tradition and culture in everything we do today”.
“Asia is still holding on to their heritage and culture. Africa is losing our culture and tradition. We need to know the key roles and involvement with tradition rulers in our day to day lives in Africa”
“Africa have lost its roots. We must learn to project the continent in a positive light”.
“You must know history to know where you’re going”.
He also called on the Nigerian youths to imbibe the spirit of responsibility and commitment to positive ideals that can enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their society.
Oba Ogunwusi who spoke at Chatham House, London in UK on “Inclusive Governance and Community Engagement” recalled how a bungled errand given him by his late mother actually moulded him for leadership position in life.
According to him, “as a child, my late mother would send me on errands as a mother to a son. There was a day that she gave me dress to iron. I plugged the iron and went to play. When she called me, I had forgotten that she gave me something to do; just to fulfil what she told me to do not knowing the iron was hot and had got the dress burnt. It attracted my mother, she was livid and angry,
“You will pay for this dearly, I will punish you well so you will know what you have done every day you are punished. That was a dress I was saving in case the King requested to meet me, she said.
“That Phrase stuck into my brain. She had reserved a dress in case the King requested to meet her. This shows the recognition of Kingship.”
Oba Ogunwusi called on the children to obey their elders and parents. He equally charged parents to respect the traditional leaders in their society in line with African culture and traditions.
“You cannot separate nature and human beings we believe traditional leaders and institutions are key in nation building and human capital development in every civilization”.
A traditional institution based on my background is part of nature’s custodian of heritage and culture. We had ancient means of governance in the Kingdoms. Before modern governance came into play traditional rulers were the first to smelt iron as basis of civilization, the first to weave cotton as it all started from the mother continent of Africa in Nigeria and the entire Yoruba race made so many discoveries. Antiquities and artefacts all over the world are many that has shown that civilization started from us
“Traditional leaders excelled in everything we are benefitting from them most things that we use today are what they pioneered before the advent of modern day Government. Therefore, traditional rulers needs to be properly included, blended with modern day government as this will make a significant change.
“For every nation that wants to grow it is crucial that it upholds its heritage and tradition. If it is taken away there is no nation. A nation cannot grow without the heritage and traditional culture of that nation. We have lost touch with our root heritage and tradition. Before the advent of colonialization, we had kingdoms across Africa. We were pioneers for a lot of things. Colonialists had to go through the traditional leaders.
“Northern and Southern Protectorate were merged in1914 to become Nigeria. This has to be done through the traditional rulers and several African monarchs were elected or appointed to serve in Government.”
“At the Nigeria’s Independence, former Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi was the first Indigenous African Governor. The government across Africa couldn’t do anything without including the traditional leaders in decision making, administration and policy making. It is a beautiful system we have now”.
“It is natural till today that any politician that wants to get to into power must go through the traditional institutions. It’s about time for that to be properly synchronized and aligned”.
Ooni said Nigeria is at the forefront of leading Africa and urged the government to join hands with the traditional institutions to take that continent out of our current state, saying the continent is the fastest growing population with 70% as youths mainly between the age of 16 – 25, which is a strong human capital if properly utilized