Oranyan Festival: Ajimobi, Ambode warn against extinction of Yoruba culture


Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and his Oyo State counterpart,
Abiola Ajimobi, have expressed concern on how Yoruba cultures are under
threat, saying these cultures are in fact being pushed beyond their
limits of tolerance in manners that suggest danger.
The duo stated this at the weekend in Oyo town during the grand finale
of Oranyan festival.
Ambode, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Arts and
Culture, Mrs Giwanson Mudirat Aramide, said while Yoruba language
gives the ability to think differently and retain the mentality, its
total abandonment brings total dislocation and loss of identity.
He asserted that Yoruba culture is not static, and at the same time,
every generation tries to preserve aspects of the indigenous
This effort, Ambode stressed, is counterbalanced by the pragmatic
desire of the Yoruba to appropriate change in the garb of tradition.
According to him, culture as viable tool of development are
under-estimated and not annexed even when the Americans and European
Union (EU) are doing everything possible to annex their many cultures
for national and regional sustainable development drive.
He is also of the conviction that language is a very key cultural
identical, pointing out that this is why culture is sometime
categorized along language groups.
Said he, ‘’all the ethnic and language groupings in the country have
deep rooted traditional background and established oral traditions in
proverbs. They communicate through proverbs when serious issues are to
be discussed and meaning are to be made and instructions passed with
non-controversial implications’’.
While reiterating commitment of his administration towards cultural
renaissance, he lauded the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola
Adeyemi 111, for his pragmatic zeal and visionary leadership qualities
in promoting and rekindling rich Yoruba cultural heritage.
The governor also felicitated with the paramount ruler and the people
of Oyo metropolis on the just concluded annual weeklong festival.
In his address, Ajimobi, represented by the his Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Toye Arulogun, said the basic culture
and civilisation which the Yoruba have built still endured and
remained fulcrum of political, economic, religious and intellectual
development of the country till today.
He added that the indigenous resources of Yoruba epistemology are
crafted in such a way as to shape the thoughts and worldview and also
guide daily conducts of the Yoruba people.
‘’The Yoruba recognise the need to have a society where law and order
will prevail. Quite unlike what obtains in contemporary times, Yoruba
enshrine the values and ethos of sanity in the child. As a people
without physical written paraphernalia, the Yoruba starts to nurture
their minds early. The implication is that as a child grows he or she
learns etiquette and moral ethos, along the way’’.
Ajimobi lamented at the gradual extinction of Yoruba customs and
traditions, and how modernisation has been allowed to bombard Yoruba
As things move at the present time, he pointed out, it will be
disastrous if we fold our arms allowing our traditions to dwindle into
oblivion in the face of permissiveness.
While lauding Oba Adeyemi for his commitment and relentlessness on
Yoruba cultural renaissance, Ajimobi noted that the annual celebration
of Oranyan in the ancient town of Oyo has no
doubt left sweet memories in the minds of Yoruba indigenes who are
excited to attend the week-long Heritage Festival.
The festival is being held annually to celebrate the leadership
qualities of Oranyan, who established an enduring political structure
for civil and military administration in Africa.
It is also to call attention to Yoruba contribution to civilization as
empire builders long before the dawn of political sophistication in
other parts of the world, as it goes beyond mere celebration and
veneration of past heroes, but lubricating the tunnels of harmony,
ignite the touch of unity and fester peace among the Yoruba people.
Highlights of the festival include free entrepreneurial acquisition
training programme for over three hundred jobless youths, conferment
of Oranyan Medalist Award on a frontline industrialist, Chief
Adebowale Omotoso, and presentation of prizes to some secondary
schools who won in the Yoruba quiz competition.


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