An elder statesman, Chief Adebisi Akande has said some Yoruba leaders connived with other leaders in the Northern part of the country to destabilise the political strength of the Yorubas and also marginalise them.
The former Governor of Osun state posited that the inactions of these leaders whom he described as being selfish, have also put the nation into a situation of economic imbroglio and massive exploitation of the nations commonwealth.
Chief Akande disclosed this at the unveiling of Karele Oodua Logo and Investiture of Karele Oodua Ambassadors organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism in Osun state.
The pioneer Chairman of the All Progressives Congress noted that these actions dating back to the slave trade pre-colonialism to the current democratic setting of Nigeria has culminated in the setback witnessed by the Yoruba people and mass exodus of youth to other countries.
Akande’s words, “Religion is a most important part of of people’s culture next to people’s language which is the foundation of any any culture. You cannot worship without language so also you cannot intelligibly sing into music without language. The music of war that can lead to ethnic or religious wars must be totally rejected – no matter whatever the political advantage being envisaged.
“Before the advent of History, our leaders hunted us about the bush, kidnapped us and sold us into slavery abroad to establish the first layers of Yoruba in the diaspora. Before the advent of Nigeria, our leaders split themselves into warring factions to fight one another in the intertribal wars as a reaction to the Fulani Jihads of the early 19th century when Islamisation and Fulanisation began in this part of west Africa. That preceded the British expeditions that led to colonization of Nigeria.
“The Native Authorities thereafter became the agents of colonial exploitations of our people and our resources. After the independence, for reasons of rank promotions, our leaders in military uniforms collaborated with the north to destabilize our political strength, to maginalize our people, to expropriate our patrimonies like the University of Ife, the western Nigerian television, the Liberty Stadium etc. and to hound our elites and youths into graves and into exile for another layers of Yoruba in diaspora. And they assisted in annulling Abiola’s election out of the Presidency of Nigeria.
“Since the beginning of this Republic, the same leaders, for reasons of greed and self aggrandizement, cringed to the north and the East for political influence to continue to depress and degrade the authentic aspirations of the Yoruba people with a sermon that the Yoruba should join the mainstream politics of Nigeria.
“The consequences of all these corrupt actions of our Yoruba leaders in collaboration with other greedy and corrupt Nigerian leaders is the total crash of the Nigerian economy which gave rise to the present urban and rural slums and infrastructural decay together with its accompanied various criminals ravaging our society today.
“The emphasis of the economic destructions have resulted in more migration of most Nigerian Youths into most ugly exile to the diaspora since the beginning of this century. Each community has its criminals. It is a fraudulent and ungodly tradition to join the corrupt North and East of Nigeria in throwing Nigeria into an economic perdition and begin to call on those of us who are innocent to give chorus to your songs in blaming the criminal consequences on a particular religion or ethnicity. The result of using politics to generate religious wars will send numerous other Yoruba Youths into diaspora in a most undignified fashion.”
Speaking, the state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola represented by his Deputy, Mr Gboyega Alabi said the motive of Karele Oodua is to preserve the rich Yoruba culture and boost the tourism potentials of the state.
He expressed optimism that the programme would be an annual affair of bringing back sons and daughters of Oduduwa who have migrated to the outside world to their ancestral land to know more about the tradition of their forebearers.
Gov Oyetola stated the resolve of his administration to continue to promote culture and enact policies that would make the state the tourism hub of the nation.
In his address, the Supervisor, Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Environment in the state of Osun, Dr Adebisi Obawale said the state government of Osun decided to sponsor the Karele Oodua programme to sustain and promote the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba people.
He said the attraction of Yoruba people from the diaspora to the state of Osun in a pilgrimage holding between 10th – 25th August, 2019 would also boost the economic potentials of the state.
Dr Obawale urged the people of the state to accord the visitors warm reception during the period of the pilgrimage.
The Chairman, Technical Committee of Karele Oodua, Prof Adisa Ogunfolakan said the initiative is geared to return the descendants of Oduduwa to their ancestral land with the aim to learn and see for themselves what the African Traditional Religion encapsulates.
He stressed that the essence of the project is to also enhance the promotion of the rich Yoruba cultural heritage.
Highlight of the event was the unveiling of the Karele Oodua Logo by Chief Bisi Akande and the Deputy Governor of the state of Osun, Mr Benedict Alabi and the representative of the Ooni of Ife as well as the Investiture of the Karele Oodua Ambassadors.