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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Boni Yayi ,Benin Republic President endorses OPU in Benin Republic

Boni Yayi ,Benin Republic  President endorses OPU in Benin Republic
 25.Feb.2015  DISQUS_COMMENTS   Wale Ojo-Lanre
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The efforts of the National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams at ensuring that the Yoruba culture, tradition and historical heritage survive the test of time was buoyed at Palais Des Congres, Cotonou, Benin Republic on Saturday, February 21, 2015 when the President of Republic of Benin, Mr Boni Yayi endorsed the inauguration of Oodua Progressive Union (OPU). 
The former President, de la Societe Civil du Benin, Mr Chacha M Rigobert, who was the father of the day at the event described the President of Benin Republic, Dr Boni Yayi as a staunch admirer, supporter and promoter of Yoruba culture and heritage, which made him to endorse the inauguration of Oodua Progressive  Union in Benin Republic .
Rigobert, who delivered half part of his speech in impeccable Yoruba revealed, “I must inform this gathering of noble and distinguished personality of Yoruba origin both from Nigeria and Benin Republic, that President Yayi personally endorsed the inauguration of OPU, which we are holding today. It is with the full endorsement of President Yayi that this event is being held. I wrote for his approval and he gladly endorsed this programme and directed all the necessary authorities in the country to ensure the successful launching and inauguration of the union in Benin.
He revealed that President Yayi is very conversant with your efforts at promoting the Yoruba culture. “He is in love with the mission and purpose of the OPU, which is promoting peace, unity and harmony among all Yoruba sons and daughters in Diaspora by reawakening and strengthening of the rich culturally diverse and heritage of the Yoruba nation. This has planted his interest in our President who is glad that OPU has come to Benin.
“Otunba Gani Adams, I called you severally to emphasise my regard and respect which I have for you. I am meeting you for the first time, but I have read a lot about your activities as the leader of the OPC. You endeared yourself to me more by your singular efforts at ensuring that our culture, the pristine Yoruba culture, customs, tradition, norms and historical heritage do not only survive the test of time, but also embraced by Diaspora Yoruba which I belong to among many others.
“I am convinced Oduduwa planted this vision in you and backed you on this mission. I must also confess that you have scored high mark in the estimation of us here in Benin not just because you are here to launch, but you are here with our first class historical kabiyesis that are essential reference in the history of Yoruba race.
“I am happy to see here also for the first time in my life and this is an evergreen memory of my history, Obas from Ekiti State; Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole of Owa Ijero; Oba Adegoke Olu Adeyemi, Alara of Aramoko;  Oba Ekundayo Sunday Kayode, Alayegunle of Ayegunle Ekiti and Oba Augustine Aderemi Obaleye, Oluroye of Ido Ile. Others include Zaki of Arigidi, Oba Yisa Olanipekun and Oba Adeyemi Ipinmoroti, Oluro of Uro Ajowa-Akoko.
“I must also confess that without the launching of OPU in Cotonou, we will not be able to see and meet these Obas of immeasurable historical reference and reverence in our lifetime. So, I am grateful to you Otunba Gani Adams for this privilege.”
In his welcome speech, Chacha Victorian A. Lamidi, Commissioner due Police, Republic du Benin and OPU coordinator Benin Chapter said that the inauguration of the OPU in Benin was an excellent thinking and act on the part of Otunba Adams. “Yes, it is the right place and the best time to recognise excellence, your sense of love, peace, re-awakening, sharing and your guide’s mind for Nigerian Yoruba sons and  daughters in the Diaspora geared your visit to Benin Republic to launch the crucible ‘Oodua Progressive Union.
“We shall do everything humanly possible at implementing the vision of OPU and ensure that all interested sons and daughters of Oodua in Benin Republic become members of the union.”
Otunba Adams in his speech said, ”We are happy that today’s launching marks another watershed in the history of this organisation. This is the 55th country where we are launching this union, only recently we were all gathered in Lagos for leadership training and adoption of programme for 2015 for the union. 
“In addition, one of the programmes enumerated for this year is the launch of the OPU in Benin Republic, which is the reason we are gathered today. 
“The other reason why I have cause to be happy is the impressive turnout at this event. 
“I am particularly delighted that many accomplished persons were gathered here today. 
“It gladdens my heart to see our Kabiyesis. 
“I am also happy that our brothers and sisters who by circumstances of colonisation, which forcefully dispersed them into different countries are all here today.
“There is no greater bond that unites us than our common progenitor; Oduduwa and filial link to Ile-Ife (Oodua a gbe wa ooo!!!). The Oodua Progressive Union is a Pan-Yoruba organisation founded in 2011 to create a platform for the Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora. In essence, we established OPU to work for the interest of all that have ancestral link to Oduduwa, our common progenitor. 
“Consequently, through the OPU, we hope to break both physical and psychological boundaries that kept our people apart for years by reawakening and strengthening our common link with Oduduwa.”
Otunba Adams revealed that among ethnic groups of the world, people of Yoruba ancestry are well dispersed. 
“The dispersal of Yoruba people across the world is occasioned by waves migrations that are historically conditioned by indigenous settlements. The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and voluntary movement of our people are because of socio-political and economic pressures. Today, Yoruba people are majorly in Nigeria and Republics of Benin, Togo and partly Ghana.
Although our common ancestral home is Ile-Ife in Nigeria, descendants of Oduduwa maintain very large presence in the republic of Benin as either indigenes or settlers. Despite the fact that our people are in different boundaries and governments because of colonialism, we remain united by same ancestry, same history and same culture. 
“This is evident in similar cultural and traditional institutions we share in our countries. In fact, three of the principal monarchs with direct ancestry to Oduduwa are Alaketu, Onisabe and Onipopo, who have their kingdoms in Republic of Benin.
“In addition to this, most of our people, irrespective of the artificial boundaries and lingua franca, speak the same mutually understandable Yoruba language and have similar cultural practices. As you can see, our Obas that are present here today are not in any way different from those in Nigeria. 
“Interestingly, the President, Republic of Benin, Dr Boni Yayi is of Yoruba extraction and a proud descendant of Oduduwa. There is hardly any programme organised by us that is not graced by our Kabiyesi from Benin Republic.
“We are here to lubricate this great bond for better harmonious and brotherhood relationship and we stand to benefit a lot if we are united under this common umbrella of Oodua Progressive Union (OPU). 
In his solidarity message, the Nigeria Ambassador in Benin Republic, Ambassador Lawrence Obisakin who was represented by Mrs Nsisong Ojelese  also commended Otunba Adams for exploring the cultural heritage of the Yoruba race to forge unity, reawakening brotherhood tie and building culture of good conduct among the Yoruba in diaspora.
“I must commend your passion and strident efforts at promoting the Yoruba culture and reminding our people in the Diaspora the need to embrace our culture and see it as a tool for development and better relationship.
“This is not only commendable, but an act to emulate by other ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The inauguration of OPU in Benin also served as a platform of re-union for the Yoruba Obas from Nigeria and their counterparts in Republic of Benin going by the words and interactions as all the Obas from Nigeria addressed the gathering and all showed their profound happiness for witnessing the day.
Oba Augostine Aderemi Obaleye, Oluroye of Ido Ile, Ekiti State, prayed for Otunba Adams, according to him, “our ancestral progenitor and fathers will continue to bless you and protect you.
“You are a wonderful son of Oduduwa. You are unique, brave and rare. I always pray for you whenever I read your articles about OPU in the newspapers particularly in the Tribune and I acknowledge your passion as manifested brazenly today. You will succeed in God’s name.”
From the speeches and testimonies of over 20 Yoruba Obas who reign in Benin Republic and who were witnesses of the inauguration of OPU in Benin was one of the best things that had happened in the history of their linkage with their origin as Yoruba.  
According to Oba Adekoya Ayitchedji Adewale, Head, Ogboni Fraternity, Benin Republic, described Otunba Adams as Oduduawa reincarnation.   
“Otunba Adams, I see you not as a mere person, but as the Oduduwa reincarnation. And you are. You started with OPC, a militant group in Nigeria to announce that you are ready to defend your race internally and now you are calling back and reuniting all your scions who were carried away by slavery or war outside the country with OPU, this is an act of destiny not a mere mortals making. You launched the best platform of reunion and re-integration of the Yoruba in Diaspora with their root. This is the best culturally inspiring initiative, which is not located or restricted to an enclave. It is the best so far and we are happy.”
The inauguration was made lively not only by the Igunnuko dance group, but by the electrifying beat of Sir Shina Peters who came all the way from Nigeria.