The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, has warned against any effort to distort the history of the Yoruba race so as not to jeopardise the people’s culture and misinform the younger generation.
The monarch gave the warning in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, at the launch of “Ekiti Historical and Royal Compendium”, a book written by all traditional rulers in Ekiti State.
Sijuade lamented that those involved in the distortion of the history of the Yoruba people had reduced the race to a “laughing stock’’.
He stressed the need to desist from such aberration, saying that persons who engaged in such acts would harm the interests of the Yoruba race if they are not checked, noting that those who were distorting the history of the Yoruba race were now being looked up to for knowledge and as role models.
The Ooni said that for centuries, the Yoruba race had no “other source than the cradle, Ile-Ife’’, regretting, however, that many facts about the existence of the race had been distorted.
Sijuade stressed that the Yoruba traditions had been denigrated in many ways, adding that such anti-social acts were carried out by some people for “personal gains, selfish reasons and individual satisfaction”.
In his speech, Afe Babalola, the Chairman of the occasion, pledged to intervene in the issues raised by the Ooni, saying that concerted efforts should be made to promote the development of the Yoruba race.
He, however, bemoaned the whittling down of the powers of traditional rulers in the 1999 Constitution, saying that it had debased the traditional system in the country.
Babalola urged traditional rulers in the country to present a common memorandum to the proposed national conference “on the need to have an institution that is similar to United Kingdom’s House of Lords’’.
He said that such an arrangement would enable the country’s traditional rulers to meet regularly and contribute to decision-making processes.