By Gbenga Olarinoye
The recent celebration of the second World Congress of Oodua Progressives Union, tagged Ife 2016 in Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba which drew more than 200 delegates from countries across the globe may have come and gone but the fond memories will continue to linger on in the minds of the participants especially those in diaspora. The congress had in attendance traditional rulers in Yoruba land including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi who sent a representative, while the Yoruba cultural icon, Chief Gani Adams, the President of Oodua Progressives Congress OPC, added glamour to the occasion.
The Oodua Progressive Union(OPU) is a pan-Yoruba organisation formed in 2011 to create an enabling platform fore the sons and daughters of Yoruba ancestors in Diaspora. The OPU is a non-governmental, non-religiuos organisation, formed by like minds to foster unity among Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora to work for the common interest of Yoruba land.
The OPU was born in Great Britain, but was officially launched in India November 2012, On September 7th, 2013 Great Britain was launched followed by the launch in Holland on September 14th, France on September 12th, German on September 10th and recently Australia chapter was launched on the 16th of August 2014 at Vienna Austria.
On the last count, the OPU now exists in 51 countries across the world. The organisation is saddled with the responsibility of re-awakening the dead spirit of the culturally diverse Yoruba nation, with strong determination and objective of emancipation, liberating, orientating and re,orientating the Yoruba race. The OPU seeks to strengthen the fabric of cohesion, unity and itegration of Yoruba people all across Yoruba land. “We are of the firm belief that with a common sense of purpose, the Yoruba race can work towards realizing the dreams and aspirations of our forefathers”, one of the organisers said.
The mission of the union is to create an enabling economically viable platform, promoting peace, unity and harmonious existence among all Yoruba sons and daughter in diaspora, through a reawakening and strengthening of the huge culturally diverse and ancestral heritage of the Yoruba nation, whilst through ideas consolidation working together for the common interest of the Yoruba race.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of OPU among others is to work for the political and economic emancipation of Yoruba race, to build an Oodua House in each country where the organisation exists to serve as a rallying point for all people of Yoruba race in the Diaspora. The House, it added will also offer them the opportunity to generate funds, to offer a platform for assistance of any form for all Yoruba sons and daughters in their country of residence.
“The OPU is dedicated to promoting and defending the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba race among our people in the Diaspora. “To work towards ensuring the establishment of true federalism in Nigeria. The mission of the OPU, according to the founding fathers is to: Stimulate and nurture the interest of Yoruba sons and daughters in rich cultural heritage of their people and to help discover the power and richness of our history.
“We seek to attract interest and research and teaching of Yoruba language to Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora in order to keep them abreast of their history and background. “Part of our vision is to create a platform where Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora can meet to offer support for one another and aggregate the interest of their race.
“As part of our mission in OPU, we are determined to provide every sons and daughter of Yoruba race in the Diaspora with the most effective representation in their country of residence and to preserve and promote the historical and cultural heritage of our people. “In OPU, we are determined to inspire and nurture the undying spirit of love and sharing among Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora.
To create value, make a difference and leave a lasting legacy for the future generations of Yoruba anywhere in the world. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness among Yoruba people in the Diaspora.
“Our goal is to create a platform for all Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora to contribute positively to the unity and progress of Yoruba land.
The Oodua House will serve as a rallying point for all sons and daughters of Yoruba in their country of residence, as well as generate funds for them.