Says, Ife is origin of creation
Paramount ruler of the ancient town of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, has stated that the historic Ark of Noah, the Tower of Babel as well as mystical signs, primeval artefacts and ancient relics are abound in the town, making it the world tourism zone in Africa.
The Ooni, who stated this at the weekend when he officially proclaimed the historic town as the world most popular tourists’ attraction, noted that the historical assets by Ile-Ife were enough to empower Nigeria and Africa at large and to beckon on all tourists across the world to thrill themselves with old artefacts available in the town.
“The Ark of Noah which the entire world has been searching for is in
Ile-Ife. The Ark has been in existence and it is in Ife land,” the monarch stated.
While expressing dissatisfaction over the neglect of culture, the monarch noted that African endowments and culture are gradually being threatened with extinction and called on Africans to come together to salvage their heritage.
The Ooni said both anthropology and archaeological findings attest to the origin of mankind from Africa, saying there are more than enough evidences to show that the actual origin of creation is Ile Ife.
“The world is gravitating towards the African culture but we (Africans) the custodian of culture do not value it.
“The bottom line is that everything started in Africa and it has been established by researchers and historians. Wherever in Africa the origin of man started, it’s our general asset. We have to take the Continent out of the poverty that we are in.
“The positive spirit of the creation is behind the successes of sons and daughters of Yoruba across the globe. Yoruba settlements are found in all the regions of Africa, North and South America, Europe and United States of America, Australia and many other parts of the world.
“Yorubas are about the half of the population of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Haiti, Brazil and many other nations.”
The Ooni urged the African-Americans to visit Ile Ife to discover their root just as he called on the entire world to explore the tourism potentials of the ancient town.
Oba Ogunwusi further maintained that the entire land of Ife is full of mystery.
His words:”We want to bring out the mysteries for the whole world to see. God thrives on mystery and every inch of Ile Ife- the land of expansion- is full of mystery. God has blessed us with some mysteries and we need to bless the world with those mysteries.
“For instance, there was a barren twin in Ife who turned herself into a river in order to bless the town. It remains the first wife of any monarch in this town. If you dare the water and fall into it deliberately, as small as it is, you will never return. But if you fall into it by mistake, it will protect you and drop you at the nearest bank of a river where your relatives can see you.
“This river is Yeyemoolu, there is nothing you ask from her that Yeyemoolu will not give you. This is another tourist attraction, a mystery river that the world can explore.”
Speaking at the event, the Osolo of Isolo, Akure, Regent Adebusola Abisoye Oluwatuyi, applauded the move by the Ooni, describing it as one that will not only unite the black race culturally but draw the entire members of the universe to their origin.
Regent Oluwatuyi noted that the event was capable of making Ile-Ife a tourist destination and a befitting spiritual home of all the Yorubas and the world at large.
The Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Department Corporation, Mrs Sally Nwechue Mbanefo remarked that much of the tourism potentials of Ile Ife has remained untapped.
She said Ile-Ife has the tendency to challenge Lagos as the capital of tourism in Nigeria, stressing that making the town a global tourist zone will be of advantage and assist in building an edifice for Yoruba mythical legend, Moremi.
Mbanefo cited Moremi, a great heroine that should not be forgotten so soon.
“Much reverence has not been given to Moremi as it has been given to Queen Aminah, another great woman from Northern Nigeria.
“Ile-Ife has a lot and rich in culture. Ile-Ife is in South-West and South-West is a friendly region for tourism. Ile-Ife has done a lot but it still has much deeper than what it has been offering.
The Director General posited that with the era of dwindling economic fortunes, if fully explored, the tourism potentials of Ile-Ife as the origin of mankind will enhance the economic fortunes of Nigeria and her citizens.
“Tourists from within Nigeria and abroad will not only do businesses in Nigeria, they will also spend part of the money made within the locality,” she said.
She, however, advised government at all levels to ensure history is taught as a subject in schools.