Benin Republic Yoruba monarchs re-unite with Nigerian kin
By GBENGA OLARINOYE
OSOGBO—The need for a united Yoruba nation resonated when two of the three children of Okanbi, son of legendary Oduduwa, founder of Yoruba ethnic group, but rulers of different cities in Republic of Benin, paid a solidarity visit to their kith and kin in Ila-Orangun, Osun State, Monday.
The host, Orangun of Ila and paramount ruler of Igbominaland, Oba Wahab Oyedotun, set the tone in his welcome address as he emphasised on the need for closer ties among the people of the Yoruba nation.
Oba Oyedotun, who gave kudos to the Onisabe of Sabeland, Benin Republic, for initiating the visit, stressed the need for greater and tighter relationship, first among the monarch sons of Okanbi and other Yoruba in general.
The Orangun stated that a united Yoruba nation would be a catalyst for the growth and development of the race. Oba Oyedotun used the occasion to emphasis the sacredness of the position of Yoruba Obas and the strategic position they occupy in the governance and administration of their people and called on governments at all levels to accord them respect and proper recognition in all ramifications.
In his goodwill message, Asiwaju of Ila- Orangun and former governor of the state, Chief Bisi Akande, traced the history of Yoruba and established the existence of the seven sons of Okanbi whose father, Oduduwa, founded the Yoruba nation.
Akande, who quoted from books published by Professor Banji Akintoye and Rev. Samuel Johnson, emphasised that there was no doubt about the blood affinity of Olowu, Alaketu, Oba of Benin, Orangun, Onisabe, Olupopo and Oranmiyan of Oyo, saying it was heart-warming that they were re-uniting after they were artificially separated, first by a series of destabilisation and tribulations and later by colonialists.
Alaketu of Ketu and Olupopo of Popo expressed joy at the possibility of the reunion meeting, saying it was a dream come true to interact fully with their kith and kin who had been inaccessible due to the artificial boundary created by those who do not know their historical affinity.
The duo expressed happiness at the benefit of detailed history which established what they used to know on the periphery before now, stressing that it was the thick blood that set them to find a way of making the visit which has come to pay off and which will commence a new thing in the future of Yoruba nation.