Why we must know Ife history — Ooni

Ooni of Ife

Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi

By Dorcas Elusogbon

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, says Ile-Ife remains the nucleus and nexus that cannot be discountenanced by any Yoruba either at home or in the diaspora.

Oba Ogunwusi said this during the finale of the international conference on Ile-Ife and Yoruba Civilisation, with the theme “The Nexus between Tradition and Modernity” held on Saturday in Ile-Ife.

“Without real history, Africans will continue to depend on foreigners to tell our stories,” he said.

The Ooni called on all those of the Yoruba race to ensure they supported the historians to conduct thorough research on Ife history in order to put all measures in place.

Also, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof Olutayo Adesina, said tradition and modernity should not be mutually exclusive for they run into one another.

Adesina said: “We have a lot of things to learn from history and to use to create knowledge and employment for the population of the country, for all to understand how to blend tradition and modernity together.

“The traditional rulers are the custodians of traditions, culture and values and they are aware that there are lots of benefits derived from what we have.

“We should shun running away from the country because we have not just mineral resources alone, but cultural resources across the nation to add values to the society,” Adesina said.

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He advised all Nigerians to cooperate to ensure that all things they have under their control are brought together to create synergy that would allow this generation to be developed.

Also, Prof Siyan Oyeweso, the Executive Director, Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, thanked those present at the programme to present the history of their families.

“What these ‘compounds’ have done will be useful in the nearest future,” he said.

Oyeweso applauded the past heroes, such as Pa Eni Fasogbon and Pa Micheal Fabunmi, among others, who had written on the history of Ile-Ife.

He added that Prof Isaac Akinjogbin, Prof Isola Olomola, Prof. Abiodun Adediran and Prof Toyin Falola had also done a great job previously on the history of Ile-Ife.

Oyeweso solicited Ooni’s support in the collation and documentation of Yoruba history during the 2023 International Conference.

He advised the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Simeon Bamire on the establishment of an Archeology Department so as to deepen research on the early phases of Ife history.


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