Reciprocate Ooni’s goodwill, ADF urges Igbo leaders

April 15th, 2019

By Daniel Tyokua and Abbanaobi-Eku Onyeka

The Alaigbo Devel­opment Founda­tion (ADF) yester­day described the speech of Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, on the aboriginali­ty of Igbo civilization in Oduduwa history as a welcome development in the restoration of positive relationship between the Igbo and Yoruba.
The Ooni at the side­lines of an interview dur­ing the Aje Festival at Ile – Ife, ascribed the origin of wealth and prosperity of Yoruba people to the ingenuity of Igbo people.

According to Oba Ogunwusi, “a particu­lar race discovered com­merce first. And truth be told, the race that dis­covered it first and real­ly nurtured it is the Igbo.

“The Igbos, through their ancestral back­ground – the lineage of Obatala – first dis­covered prosperity and wealth in terms of the di­vinity world. And that is why, today, the Igbo race is very peculiar and has very good expertise when it comes to commerce.

“Igbos are very dis­tinct all over the world. There is no place in the world you won’t find an Igbo man”.

ADF in a statement Sunday by Abia Onyike, Chairman of its Publicity Bureau, commended the Ooni for his strivings to improve relationship be­tween Igbo and Yoruba.

He urged paramount rulers and spiritual fa­thers in Alaigbo “to recip­rocate the goodwill dem­onstrated by the Ooni of Ife to further improve and consolidate Igbo-Yoruba rapprochement and sol­idarity”.

Onyike said: “The in­formation provided by the Ooni of Ife was also reflected in the book, ti­tled, The Cradle of a Race: Ife from the beginning to 1980. The book was writ­ten by many Yoruba in­tellectuals and edited by Prof. I. A. Akinjogbin.

“Ndigbo and the Yoru­ba should always empha­size those cultural and historical links as well as socio-political and eco­nomic issues which unite them, rather than those which divide them.

“Let us recall that Ndigbo, under the lead­ership of former Pre­mier of the Eastern Re­gion, Dr. Michael Okpara, went a long way to heal the wounds inflicted on Igbo–Yoruba relation­ship during the Azikiwe – Awolowo era by the care his government took of Pa Obafemi Awolowo and his wife, Hannah, while Awo was in Calabar Pris­on.

“We equally recall with pride how Dr Okpara led a contingent of Ndigbo to identify with their Yoru­ba allies led by Adegben­ro, during the operation Wetie, when the Yoruba nation was fighting for political survival from foreign invaders in 1965”.

He urged Igbo Tradi­tional Leaders to recipro­cate the goodwill by par­ticipating in the next Aje Festival in Ile-Ife in 2020, as suggested by the Ooni to further consolidate the Igbo-Yoruba solidarity.

“The consolidation of Igbo-Yoruba solidari­ty and socio-cultural re­lationship would lay a solid foundation for the inevitable broader soli­darity and cooperation among them and oth­er regions in the Federal Republic of Nigeria; we mean those regions which are earnestly in search of political and economic emancipation and self-determination,” he said.

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