Tourism as an instrument of peace, good relations and lubricator of the chord of brotherhood played itself out recently when the National Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and Global Convener, Oodua Progressive Union, OPU, Otunba Gani Adams sought the blessings of Yoruba foremost traditional rulers for the hosting of two of its festivals scheduled for the month of January and the rest of the year .
Otunba Adams, who led a high ranking members of the two associations which include Mr Rotimi Olumo, Oyo State coordinator OPC, to the palace of Aalafin of Oyo, His Imperial Royalty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi , and Ooni of Ife His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi recently.
Otunba Adams informed the Alaafin of Oyo “I am here today, kabiyesi Iku baba yeye to seek your blessing and endorsement for the hosting of the 3rd Global conference of OPU, an association which I formed purposely to reactivate and resuscitate the dying cultural heritage of the Yoruba among those of us in the Diaspora.
I, with every sense of humility and traditional reverence informs you that we have been able to successfully plant this Yoruba tradition revival groups in 83 countries of the world. Kabiyesi, I am here on behalf of all members of OPU from 83 countries of the world to seek your blessing and permission to host the 3rd Global Conference of this union in this historical capital of Oyo Empire.
I am also compelled to seek your majestic presence which without will make the gathering of your children from the Diaspora a nullity. Kabiyesi, your children say they are coming home to learn, to hear and to experience those things, values, mores and norms that should be made a generational ordinance for the sustainance of Yoruba heritage.”
In his royal and regal response, Oba Adeyemi, III, lacing his words with proverbs, axiom, adager and cultural analogy commended Otunba Adams for his stride in Yoruba cultural revivalism “I have been monitoring your vast advancement and vibrantly measured global evangelisation of Yoruba heritage, values and cultural revivalism. I am in no doubt sure that you are being driven by the spirit of the founder of Yoruba race.
And in line with this, the Aalafin – in – Council has not only blessed your mission, but assuring you of the active participation of the palace in the scheduled Global conference of the members of Oodua Progressive Union”
Oba Adeyemi III said “We have the onerous responsibility of creating, refreshing and once again demonstrate those values, cultural norms and historical adage which make the Yourba a unique race for the visiting Yoruba in the Diaspora.
We shall welcome them home with songs, dances and merriment which characterised our pre colonial society”.
The Alaafin who prayed specially for Otunba Adams, members of the OPU and OPC called on all Yourba indigenes in the Diaspora to always think of home.
“I enjoin you all not to allow the luxury of your place of domicile or the seemingly carefree cultural evolution of your place of abode to rub off your cultural heritage. It is your culture that gives you the identity of whom you are and where you are coming from. You must protect and promote this jealously”.
At the palace of Ooni of Ile Ife, Otunba Adams said “Our mission to the palace, the cradle of the Yoruba all over the world is to inform the Ooni of Ife and the Ooni – In – Council the readiness of Olokun Festival Foundation, the promoter of Oduduwa festival for the hosting of 2017 Oduduwa Festival scheduled for January 26 2017 in Ile – Ife”.
Otunba Adams disclosed to the Ooni how the Olokun Festival foundation has taken it upon itself the celebration and promotion of Oduduwa Festival without any rancour or violence.
“It is with the utmost humility, Kabiyesi, that the Olokun Festival Foundation has been able to promote 18 cultural festivals in Yorubaland. We are spurred to doing this when we realised that contemporary foreign cultures and traditions are consuming our heritage.
We are happy to inform that, these festivals have proved not only to be of cultural advantage but have been of tremendous economic benefits to the people.”
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi lauded the efforts of Otunba Adams, the Olokun Festival Foundation and OPC at reviving the cultural festivals of Yorubaland adding he would lend his support to the hosting of the festival.
The Ooni said “Otunba, I commend your spirit and I acknowledge your efforts at hosting and promoting Oduduwa Festival and others .You are doing great and well also . I am assuring you of my support and the support of Ooni – In – Council for the hosting of the festival this year. And also, I must disclose that the festival will assume another dimension next year as we are going to jointly have a look into its packaging and presentation”.
Ooni Ogunwusi who commended Otunba Adams for the formation of OPU called on him to ensure that unity of purpose and sense of unalloyed brotherhood rules the two Yoruba organisations under his leadership.
“I am impressed by your activities. I understand and empathise with you and I know that it is not an easy task to head a large organisation like the OPC and OPU without one form of misunderstanding and others bearing in mind that they are not pack of angels. I charge you to work towards unity of purpose among members.
“It is in unity that peace and advancement thrive. This should be the major target of your organisation in the New Year. I wish you the best and assure you of my support and prayers towards a successful 2017 Oduduwa Festival.”
Otunba Adams thanked the Ooni for his thoughtfulness and assured him that this year’s Oduduwa Festival will not only be unique but will be ‘the best”.