The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja ll, expressed optimism that the existing and cordial relationship existing between Nigeria and French, culturally, economically and socially would be sustained and enhanced.
Ooni stated this when the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Jerome Pasquier, led the French delegation to his palace, in Ile-Ife on Sunday night.
The Ojaja ll, who is the co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria, said “the synergy is good for the overall development of both countries.
“We are all one because Ile-Ife is where the day is dawn and irrespective of your colour, we all have the same blood.
“If the world can invest in findings and archaeological studies like the scholars from around the globe are doing to unearth our existence, the world would be a better place for us all.
“And we would not have time to be destroying ourselves with weapons of mass destruction.
“The greatest joy in the world is the joy of our origin. We all belong to one happy family and ready to partner with French so to achieve greatness,” Ooni said.
The monarch commended the Archaeological scholars and students who came from France, United Kingdom, United States of America, Ghana and Nigeria for their tenacity in discovering humanity.
Earlier, the French Ambassador said that he was elated for paying homage to the monarch
“I am highly elated to be here, paying homage to the revered monarch and see the level of work done by Archaeologists who have been working on the existence of humanity in Ile-Ife for the past years.
“The Nigerian and French relations is wonderful because we have a lot of things in common however, language may differs.
“Our French nationals domiciling in Nigeria are always speaking good about the accommodating nature of Nigeria and this gladdens our heart.
“We value and cherish your rich culture and tradition which is highly significant as it portrays Ife as the place where the day is dawn,” he said.
Dignitaries at the occasion are: French Consul-General, Prof. Laila Matheu, Prof. Gerald Shelf, Dela Kuma from Ghana, students researchers from University of Ibadan, and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Others include: Oba Oyetade Akinrera, Olubosin of Ifetedo, Oba Segun Layade, Alara of Ara-Oodaye, Prof. Muhib Opeloye and Alhaji Saka Fawole.
Also at the meeting were: Sooko Kemade Elugbaju, Mr Yera Elugbaju, Chairman, Ife Central Local Government Area, Mr Bisi Oladosu, Chairman, Ife Central-West Local Council Development Area, Mr Gbenga Omiwole and Prof. Adisa Ogunfolakan.(NAN)