- calls for unity amongst south-west
By Lanre Adesanya
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, resolved to remain a rallying point for the promotion of Yoruba heritage and and cultural values,has reiterated his call on other states’ Houses of Assembly in the South West to emulate the Lagos State House of Assembly in ensuring the preservation of Yoruba language being the main conveyor of her tradition.
Oba Ogunwusi, the Ojaja II, during a courtesy call on the House during plenary session on Thursday.
The monarch, who stressed the importance of preserving Yoruba language, cultural values and tradition, commended the Assembly for promoting native language.
“I am very happy to be here and see you using Yoruba language to conduct your activities. I enjoin all Houses of Assembly in Yoruba land to learn from the Lagos Assembly.
“People in other climes honour and cherish Yoruba language, it is at home here that we don’t cherish what is ours.
“What is causing retrogression and defeat for us is that we don’t celebrate what is ours, our language and cultural values.
“If we are united as a people and cherish what is ours, every other thing will be easy for Yoruba nation to move forward.
“I urge you (Lagos Assembly) to endeavour to persuade other Houses of Assembly in Yoruba land to be resolute in the promotion of our heritage,” the first class Oba urged.
The traditional ruler, who decried that many children from the region could not speak and write the language, said efforts should be intensified to save the language and culture from going into extinction.
According to him, God has blessed Yoruba race with Lagos State, adding that he succeeded in the state before being called to his ancestral home as monarch.
Ogunwusi said that countries like Japan, Republic of China, India among other nations had move up because of importance attached to their indigenous language.
The monarch said that unity among Yorubas, economic development of Yoruba land and Youth development had become very imperative for the nation to move forward.
Ogunwusi said that he had message of unity to deliver to Yoruba race and all the traditional leaders in the region must unite and support the government.
Ooni, who prayed for the progress of the state, described unity as power.
Oba Ogunwusi, Ojaja the second described the Lagos Assembly as a pacesetter in the promotion of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba race.
In his response the Speaker of the House, Hon Mudashiru Obasa eulogised the monarch for honouring the House for the second time since the assumption of his reign on the throne of his ancestral fathers.
“We thank you for honouring our invitation during the House Summit on Yoruba language. You are a good father that visit children.
“You are the first monarch to sit with us like this on the floor to talk to us and people of Lagos.”
Obasa commended the monarch for his commitment to re-unification of Yoruba race, promotion of Yoruba language and culture, food security as well as youth development.
The speaker urged all parents and other traditional rulers to ensure promotion of the Yoruba cultural values.