By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II on Friday led his chiefs on a courtesy visit to The Lagos State House of Assembly, during Plenary Session on Thursday.
Addressing lawmakers, Oba Ogunwusi, called on other states’ Houses of Assembly in the South-West to emulate the Lagos State House of Assembly in promoting Yoruba language and cultural heritage.
It is the the tradition of the House to conduct plenary proceedings on every Thursday in Yoruba Language to protect the cultural heritage of the Language.
The monarch, who stressed the importance of preserving Yoruba language, cultural values and tradition, commended the Assembly for promoting native language.
“I am very happy to be here and see you using Yoruba language to conduct your activities. I enjoin all Houses of Assembly in Yoruba Land to learn from the Lagos Assembly. People in other climes honour and cherish Yoruba language, it is at home here that we don’t cherish what is ours.
“What is causing retrogression and defeat for us is that we don’t celebrate what is ours, our language and cultural values. If we are united as a people and cherish what is ours, every other thing will be easy for Yoruba nation to move forward.
“I urge you (Lagos Assembly) to endeavour to persuade other Houses of Assembly in Yoruba Land, to all go for the promotion of our heritage,” the Oba urged.
The traditional ruler, who decried that many children from the region could not speak and write the language, said efforts should be intensified to save the language and culture from going into extinction.
According to him, God has blessed Yoruba race with Lagos State, adding that he succeeded in the state before being called to his ancestral home as monarch.
Oba Ogunwusi said that countries like Japan, Republic of China, India among other nations had moved up because of importance attached to their indigenous language.
The monarch also said that unity among Yorubas, economic development of Yoruba land and Youth development had become very imperative for the nation to move forward.
The monarch said that he had message of unity to deliver to Yoruba race and all the traditional leaders in the region must unite and support the government. Ooni, who prayed for the progress of the state, described unity as power.
Responding, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa praised the monarch for honouring the House for the second time since he assumed the throne of his ancestral fathers.
“We thank you for honouring our invitation during the House Summit on Yoruba language. You are a good father that visit children. You are the first monarch to sit with us like this on the floor to talk to us and people of Lagos,” Obasa said.
The Speaker commended the monarch for his commitment the reunification of Yoruba race, promotion of Yoruba language and culture, food security as well as youth development.
The speaker urged all parents and other traditional rulers to ensure promotion of the Yoruba cultural values.
Ooni address Lagos Assembly, canvasses use of Yoruba in S’West houses
By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos