Alaigbo Development Foundation Reacts To Press statement made by Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife during the recent Aje festival at Ile Ife.
After a careful study and thorough scrutiny of the historic speech made by Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, during the recent Aje Festival at Ile – Ife, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) withes to make the following observations:-
- That the historic speech by the Ooni which emphasized the aboriginality of Igbo civilization in Oduduwa history should be seen as a welcome development in the restoration of positive relationship between the Igbo and Yoruba.
- 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.
- We urge the Igbo nation, especially the Paramount Traditional 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.
- 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.
- We urge Igbo Traditional Leaders to further reciprocate the goodwill of the
Ooni of Ife, by agreeing to participate 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.
ADF Publicity Bureau