The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, during the annual Osoosi festival in Ile-Ife, said Yoruba traditional religion could be used as a tool in solving the challenges of peace and love in Nigeria and Africa.
At the Osoosi festival, which was attended by dignitaries from different countries and continents especially America and the Caribbean countries, the monarch lamented that neglecting tradition in the Africa contributed to Nigeria’s challenges.
To resolve this, Oba Ogunwusi said people must develop positive attitudes towards the Yoruba and Africa traditions.
“This is a landmark festival for us. Mankind started from the tropical Africa and it is the most populous. This is one of the historical landmarks to prove that everything started from the continent of Africa and Nigeria which is the most populous nation that belongs to the black race.
“We are here at the Osoosi and Obatala temples to celebrate. Osoosi’s temple is where the gathering (religious) started from. Religion should be used to preach peace and unity. We must do what we preach and the foundation must be solid. The entire black race should see this as their culture and tradition. We have to propel it well.
“We are not hiding anything. We are preaching peace, unity and peaceful co-existence which is the problem of many societies in Africa. Believing in the positivity of our ancestral religion will help to solve all these problems.”
He narrated that most of the world’s religions have ancestral linkages, saying that religion must be a tool to defend the oppressed.
The Imperial Majesty explained that one of those things that made Osoosi’s temple unique was the succour that people get when they visit it.
“The guardian that Osoosi used was called ‘Ka to ka ki ki ki, ka fi enu re so le’ in which catholic and Catholicism came from. It is the congregation that led to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam. Many other religions started from here. It is the house of God. What they do here is to take care of the less privileged people, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and people that are low in spirit and that has been happening up till date.
“But when westernisation came, all the cultures and traditions were bastardised. People were made to believe that they are not good things. What we do basically is nature driven and we want to showcase to the world that indeed everything started from here.
“Osoosi came to this world thousands of years before Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came. It is one of the early creations of God. We need to showcase our culture. Nobody can do that for us. We need to let the whole world know.”
He also likened the Osoosi’s feature of not bearing children to the Catholic pope’s restriction from marrying.
“Just as Osoosi destined not to giving birth to children, so also is the popes at the Roman catholic. There are many good things from the African religion and those in Rome cannot dispute it.”
On his part, the Obalesun Obatala Agbaye, Oba O.O. Daada, asked Nigerians to value their traditional and cultural heritage, describing the traditional religion as the most genuine and non-deceptive. Our culture is genuine, non-deceptive and it is the origin of every religion in the world.”
Queen Diambi Kabatusuila of Kasai Kingdom, Democratic Republic of Congo, also at the festival lamented that people of African origin were not appreciating their culture.
“I’m here to rejoice with my brothers and sisters to show that all Africans are the same. It is important to support our ancestral culture, to revive it and to show that we have to teach our children to believe in their culture, because it is in the ancestral that we can find the solution to the problems Africa is having today.”
Former MD of Daily Times and the Jaagun Oodua of Ile-Ife, Chief Tola Adeniyi, said the celebration of African religion was laudable, remarkable and capable of preserving African heritage as the source of mankind.
An archaeologist, Dr. Adisa Ogunfolakan, warned that westernisation must not be allowed to erode the rich African culture, saying that there were historical evidences that attested that Africa culture if practised would aid development.
Iyalode Yeyefini Efunbolade from the United States said she was proud to associate with African culture, saying her tribal marks were enough signal to state her origin even though she’s an American.
“I’m here to showcase the heritage and culture of the Africa. The origin of man is here. It is a honour of nature. Obatala is the deity that I hail from and I have also brought a group of priests.”