By Shina Abubakar
THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, yesterday, urged world leaders to invest in humanity through researches and documentation of historical facts rather than spending on nuclear weapons.
In a statement by his Press Secretary, Moses Olafare, the paramount ruler decried the huge amount of resources invested in the procurement of war weapons which he described as items of destruction.
The monarch, who is co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria noted that the world will be a better place for all if such money is spent to advance nature through archeological and historical researches that can establish the links connecting various nations in the world as one family.
Hosting a team of researchers led by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, at his palace in Ile-Ife, the Ooni said irrespective of religion, race and social belief, humanity must be united for peace.
Oba Ogunwusi said: “We are one people regardless of our cultural, racial, religious and social beliefs and the earlier we recognize this fact the better for us.”
Earlier in his address, Ambassador Jerome Pasquier, who was flanked by the French Consular General, Mrs. Lawrence Nonnayrant, and other personalities admitted that Europe has respect for Ife kingdom, as it occupies a huge place in history.
Pasquier said: “We in Europe, especially the French love this king and we follow his unity and peace efforts. It is good to embrace civilization, but it is much more important to keep the traditional culture intact and I am very happy to see that culture and tradition are well kept in this kingdom of Ife which is the ancestral home of the great Yoruba nation despite its current civilized state.”
These archeological items are useful for the unborn generations, rather than destroying ourselves with our resources.”
On the visit of the French’s Ambassador and other researchers to the ancient city, the Ooni revealed that there is a strong cultural relationship between France and Nigeria especially based on kingship.
“Just recently, the French’s President, Mr. Emanuel Macron, visited Nigeria during which he stopped at some notable heritage sites including the famous musical shrine originated by the late Afro legend, our own Fella Anikulapo Kuti”.
“I have always said we are of one family source, the Europeans too are now corroborating me. The French government has been wonderful especially in ensuring that all our artifacts are returned to us in this part of Africa, they are working with us on this here in Ile-Ife, and they are also working with the Benin kingdom. Of course, you all know the strong relationship between the Benin Kingdom and we, Yoruba people, as direct descendants of Oduduwa who pioneered kingship in the world with this sacred throne I currently occupy as the natural head of the Yoruba race worldwide.”