The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), on Thursday at Chatham House United Kingdom (UK) said his late mother’s core values of responsibility really prepared him ahead for leadership roles as an individual and traditional ruler, saying African youths must imbibe the spirit of responsibility and commitment to positive ideals that can enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their society.
Ooni Ogunwusi who spoke at Chatham House, London in UK on “INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS” recalled how a bungled errand given to him by his late mother actually molded him for leadership position in life.
“As a child, she would send me on errands. She one day gave me her most valuable dress to iron. I plugged the iron and went to play to come back to fulfil what she told me to do not knowing the iron had become so hot that I got the dress burnt to the anger of my mother”.
“You will pay for this dearly; I will punish you well so you will know what you have done every day punished. That was a dress I was saving in case the king requested to meet me.” said my Mother.
That Phrase stuck into my brain. She had reserved a dress in case the king requested to meet her.
The foremost African monarch admonished children obey their elders and parents. He equally charged parents to respect the traditional leaders in society in line with African culture and traditions. The Co-Chairman of Nigerian Council of Traditional Rulers also stated the involvement of Traditional Institutions in governance for a better tomorrow.
“You cannot separate nature and human beings we believe traditional leaders and institutions are key in national building human capital development civilization”.
“Traditional institutions based on my background is part of nature’s custodian of heritage and culture. We had ancient means of governance in the Kingdoms”.
“Before governance came into play traditional rulers were the first to smelt iron basis of civilization. The first to weave cotton started from the mother continent in Nigeria and the entire Yoruba race so many discoveries”
Ooni said further “Antiques artifacts all over the world that has shown that civilization started from us. “Traditional leaders excelled in everything. We are today benefitting from. It was pioneered before the advent of modern day Government”.
“Traditional Rulers need to be properly included, blended with modern day government. This will make a significant change.
“A nation that wants to grow must uphold the heritage and tradition of that nation. If it is taken away there is no nation.
A nation cannot grow without the heritage of that nation and the traditional culture of that nation
“We have lost touch with our root” heritage and tradition. Before the advent of colonialization, we had kingdoms across Africa. Colonialists had to go through the traditional leaders”.
“Northern and southern protectorate were in 1914 merged to become Nigeria. This had to be done through traditional rulers and several African monarchs were either elected or appointed to serve in government”.
“At the Nigeria’s Independence, Former Ooni of Ife, Sir Adesoji Aderemi was the first Indigenous African Governor. The government across Africa couldn’t do anything without including the traditional leaders in decision making, administration and policy making. It is a beautiful system we have now”.