Osinbajo tasks Yoruba indigenes on return of stolen artefacts
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, urged Yoruba sons and daughters and the International Centre for Yoruba Arts and Culture at the University of Ibadan (UI) to join in the global movement to champion the return of artefacts that were plundered, looted or illegally taken away from the country.
This also came as the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams; Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) stressed the need for preservation of the Yoruba culture.
They made the call during the presentation and launching of the International Centre for Yoruba Arts and Culture (ICYAC) at the UI, Ibadan, the state capital.
Osinbajo said: “The Centre should offer a destination for mission of discovery by the very many Africans in Diaspora who trace their origins to the Yoruba people and promote closer links between the Yoruba people in the homeland and their kin in the Diaspora but more importantly provide a crucial pillar in the global attempt to build social and economic bridges between people of African descent everywhere in our world. And while we are at it, you must join in the global movement to champion the return of artefacts that were plundered, looted or illegally taken away from these shores.”
Akeredolu, represented by his deputy, Lucky Ayedatiwa; Abiodun by his deputy, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele and Makinde by his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan; all said the Yoruba must preserve their heritage.
The Alaafin stressed the need for Yoruba to preserve their culture and heritage. He said that modern system of government had been part of Yoruba political system before the advent of colonialists.
Oba Adeyemi maintained that the ICYAC would be a focal point of return and restitution of stolen archives and artefacts.
On his part, Gani Adams said: “We need to document our history and culture and we need to bring pride to our heritage because if you don’t write your history, the enemy will write it in a wrong way and it will affect your pride. Yoruba is one of the most important races in the world. This is a race that has been in existence for more 15,000 years. We have a lot of things to document so that the global village can know our importance and where we are coming from.”
The convener, Mr. Alao Adedayo, said that the centre would help to promote the preservation of Yoruba culture, tradition and religion.
Adedayo, who is the publisher of Alaroye newspapers, said: “The idea was first conceived in 2014 with the desire to create a place where researchers could conduct and complete works on the history, arts and culture of the Yoruba.”
“The Centre will promote and propagate our history, culture and tradition. This will teach the younger generation about our past as a tolerant and peaceful race. This will promote the unity, progress and prosperity of this country.”