•Grand Finale of Oranyan Festival holds in Oyo Town
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has decried what he described as “relegation of Yoruba to the background in the country’s scheme of things.”
The paramount ruler spoke at the “Grand Finale of Oranyan Festival” at the weekend in Oyo town.
He said there was no doubt that the Yoruba nation today, was “in dire need of empire builders in the mould and character of the legendary Oranyan.”
The monarch noted that despite the tribe’s heroic contributions to the nation, it was almost relegated to the background in the scheme of things.
He said it was as if the Federal Government had decided to relegate Yorubaland in the allocation of resources and political power sharing.
He added that the situation of the Yoruba within the context of the Nigerian state was disturbing, bearing in mind the Yoruba’s resources used to build the Nigerian nation.
Oba Adeyemi, however, noted that the life and political career of the legendary founder, Oranyan, would provide a template for effective political system or statecraft, empire building and mass political participation.
“Oranyan was an astute political leader, who in spite of all odds, created a most enduring political system in sub-Saharan Africa. The archetypal monarchy embroidered with central authority was a product of the wizardry of Oranyan, who left the cradle of Yoruba consciousness to create a system of government whose effectiveness, creativity, relevance, suitability and appropriateness is not in doubt even in contemporary Nigeria.
“The time is just right for a new Yoruba genius to emerge and provide leadership for the Yoruba nation. Let our aspiring politicians approach the foundation of knowledge, and every pretentions, arrogance and selfishness to embrace the ideals of Oranyan in politics,” he said.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, praised the monarch for initiating a move to unite the Yoruba nation through the Oranyan festival.
“Oyo remains the Pacesetter State. Therefore, the Oyo State government will always play its role in promoting unity among the Yorubas. As such, it is ready to provide the necessary support towards the achievement of this aim and objective.”
The former Oyo State governor, Chief Omololu Olunloyo, told the guests the significance of reviving old culture, values and tradition inherent in the ancient city of Oyo.
“Oyo has remained the meeting-point in Yoruba history. There’s no way you can talk about Yoruba history without making adequate reference to Oyo, and Alaafin has, since a very long time, remained a force to reckon with,” he said.
Other speakers at the event hailed Oranyan as a brave warrior and leader.
They called on all Yorubas to join the Alaafin in his quest to ensure unity among the tribe and bring back the values and cultural heritage of the race. The festival started with a carnival after some royal blessing from the Alaafin to all the participants.
The guests at the event included the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Monsurat Sunmonu and the National Coordinator of Oodu’a Peoples’ Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams, monarchs from Oke-Ogun areas, Lagos, Osun states, Republic of Benin and Togo.
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