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Day Ile-Ife became twin city with Brazilin city of Salvador

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Ile-Ife town in Osun State, Nigeria, was on Saturday, June 9, 2018 proclaimed the twin city of Salvador in the Brazilian state of Bahia.

The city’s Mayor, Salvador ACM Neto, made the proclamation in his Casa-Pefetora office in Salvador after a bill was passed by the Salvadorian Congress, based on a motion moved by one Honourable Mauricio Trindade, a Congress member that the city be declared the twin city of Ile-Ife in honour of Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, who began a 10-day tour of some Brazilian cities on Saturday.

After the colourful ceremony, the Ooni was made to sign the treaty on behalf of Ile-Ife people and the entire Yoruba race worldwide.

In a brief remark afterwards, Honourable ACM Neto urged Ooni Ogunwusi and other Yoruba Obas in his entourage to pray for Brazil to overcome its current political challenges, saying he believed strongly in the efficacy of traditional prayers.

The Director of Institute of African Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr. Ayo Omidire, who was on the Ooni’s entourage, said the proclamation of Ile-Ife town as the twin city of Salvador in Brazil has opened a gateway of healthy relationship between Ife people in particular, and Nigeria and the Salvadorian people in general.

He explained that Salvador has the second largest population of blacks outside Africa in the world, so the rare opportunity made it possible and easy for cultural exchanges, artistic and economic empowerment between the people of Nigeria and Brazil, as the proclamation will benefit the Yoruba anywhere in the world.

Similarly, the Director of Media and Public Relations of Ooni’s Palace, Mr. Moses Olafare, said the Mayor had promised to send the signed treaty to Bahia State authorities immediately, who will in turn send the document to Brazilian Ministry of External Affairs in an effort to give the proclamation necessary diplomatic backing.

He explained that the sponsor of the bill said his decision was prompted by the fact that Ile-Ife is regarded as the cradle and headquarters of Yoruba people globally. Also, Ile-Ife is the recognised ancestral home of Yoruba people. However, Bahia is to remain the headquarters of all Yoruba people in the Americas. As a matter of policy, all Yoruba people are to benefit from the treaty.

Earlier, the Mayor, while receiving an advance delegation of Ooni’s entourage to Brazil on Friday, June 8, 2018, led by the Ajero of Ijeroland, Oba Joseph Adewole and Timi of Ede, Oba Muniru Lawal, said his state was ready to do anything to facilitate a better cultural and economic relationship between Nigeria and Brazil.

Responding, Oba Adewole assured the people of Salvador of the Ooni and other Yoruba monarchs’ readiness to assist in any way to overcome their current challenges.

In another development, the Ooni of Ife, who arrived Brazil on Saturday, June 9, 2018, with another set of 17 South-west traditional rulers and several traditional priests from Ile-Ife, academicians and some art promoters, after being received by the Nigerian Embassy officials at the Rio de Janeiro airport, left immediately for Boka Dogio, a place of worship founded by a prominent Brazilian of Nigerian descent from the Bamgbose family in Lagos. The place is called Rodofo Martins de Andrade, otherwise known as the Bamgbose Obitiko in Brazil, where the Ooni witnessed the service by adherents.

The Ooni later assured the adherents, who turned out in large numbers, of his support. He urged them not to relent in their efforts to convert more people in the promotion of African culture and traditional religions. He told them never to see themselves as people without identity, as all the descendants of Oduduwa including, the Iteskiri, Edo, Ga, Anago Igala, Lucumi and Napa are all Yoruba, alongside a host of other people around the world. He reminded them that they all belong to the same family with their ancestral root located in Ile-Ife.

The Ooni announced his readiness to support a more robust collaboration among all Yoruba in the Diaspora, as this will enable them to have a common front with regard to issues concerning them.

He said: “My mission is simple. I am for peace and unity of the Yoruba race and all the people within the House of Oduduwa worldwide. Everywhere these set of people are found, I must seek and get them united with their roots, as my sitting on the throne of Oduduwa means that I owe all descendants a responsibility, not minding where they are in the world.

“If we are united, we can achieve greater things. I have resolved to unite, repackage and promote globally Yoruba culture, which is an important work of art. This is what my brother kings here with me and at home, who are royal fathers in their respective ancestral homes in Yorubaland, are determined to do together for the betterment of our people and culture.”

He said all those that came to receive him and his brother kings from Yoruba land are assured of their root, as they are all people with beautiful roots and great identity. He said they must henceforth realise that they are never forgotten as Yoruba people.

The leader of African Worship Centre in Brazil, known as Ile Ase Bamgbose, Air Jose de Souza, who also goes by the name Bisilola, thanked the Ooni and all on his entourage for the visit. She declared the group’s readiness to forge stronger ties with their roots back home in Yoruba land.

Thereafter, the Ooni prayed for the adherents, who entertained the audience with various Yoruba songs.

The Obas at the events were Timi of Ede, Oba Adesola Lawal, Ajero of Ijero kingdom, Oba Adewole Adebayo, Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdul Ganiy Adekunir Ologunebi and Olugbon of Ile’ebon, Oba Olusola Alao. Others were the Jegun of Iepe Okitipupa, Oba Adetoye Obatuga, Olejudo of ido Ekiti, Oba Aderemi Obaleye, Alaran of Arandun, Oba Ibikunle Adekanye, Elerinmo of Erinmo-Ijesa, Oba Michael Odunayo, Owa Kagun of Okerewe-Ife, Oba Muraina Adedoyin and Alayeluwa of Odo Ayandelu, Lagos State, Oba Aderibigbe Asunmo, Alayemore of Ado-Osun Oba Aderemi Adedapo, Olowa of Igbara-Oke, Oba Adefarakanmi, Agbede, Onisabe of Sabe-Igbobi, Oba Adeniyi Adeyemi.

The entourage also included Professor Sophie Oluwole, the Sooko Laekun of Ife, Prince Adegboyega Ogunwusi, and other senior officials in the Nigerian Embassy in Brazil led by A.I. Imam.


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