Ooni of Ile-Ife, Alayeluwa Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusihas canvassed for Africans to change their orientations about Africa and visit Africa more by Africans. This was the main thrust of his message even as he declared Ile-Ife a tourism zone. The impressive ceremony reflected a perfect mix of modernity and traditional Yoruba culture, and was heavily attended by government functionaries, members of the diplomatic corps from Ghana, Cote d’ívoire and Togo, and Royal Fathers from various climes of the Yoruba race and the private sector, amidst fanfare and several traditional Yoruba displays in dances and arts.
The declaration took place on Saturday inside the Royal Palace of the Ooni, and was graciously attended by some illustrious sons of Ile-Ife and several well-wishers and supporters of the his vision among whom are Professor Eyitayo Ogunbode, Abiodun Olanrewaju, Professor Wole Soyinka, who also presented a speech, being represented by one of his associates; Mr. Akinboboye of La Campaigne Tropicana and several others.
‘It’s important for all of us as Africans to come together as one family’, His Imperial Majesty resonates. ‘Then we can channel the course and make Africa a better place’.
Kabiyesi went on to explain that the collective drive by Africans for Africa is not to enrich or to benefit just one area or country, but that it will be for collective benefit. It is to make Africa a better place. Not just for Ile-Ife, Osun or the Yoruba extraction, but for Nigeria and indeed the entire African continent will benefit from it.
‘Everything about tourism is about movement. Movement brings every other thing: development, prosperity and prosperity. So, we need to focus on stimulating more movements of people throughout Africa. Today, in this gathering, we have the ambassadors of Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’ivoire’.
The Ooni went on to assert that, ‘God thrives in mysteries. Ile-Ife is full 0f mysteries. Ile-Ife means the land of expansion, and every square meter in Ile-Ife if full of mysteries. We either ignore them or choose to tell them to the world, so that the world will appreciate those mysteries. That is tourism’.
Kabiyesi then went on a narrative about the Yourbas as descendants of Oduduwa with the resounding mysteries that surround that.
‘To take this continent out of the impoverished level of poverty, God gave us everything. We do not need from anywhere. The mystery in this land is too much; it has been hidden for a long time. When I first came into the palace, I was told of my first wife in the palace. I was wondering if they were going to give me another wife until I was taken to her. My wife in the palace is alive. She is the living water of life and she is in this palace. She is Yeye Molu, one of the mysteries of God in this palace. When a barren woman drinks from it, she conceives! There is nothing you ask from her that she will not give you.
‘Today, the Yoruba religion is the fastest growing religion in the world; faster than Christianity, faster than Islam all over the world, why, because everybody is realizing creation started in Africa the entire world is gravitating towards our religion.. Historians, researchers all agree to that fact that mankind started in Africa.
‘I granted an interview recently where I just mentioned two of the mysteries and everybody said “No, is impossible! It can never be here”! I mentioned the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible, it is in Ife land. The second one is the Ark of Noah; it is here also. People say the Tower of Babel is in Egypt. No, it’s not in Egypt, it is here because the two stories are very synonymous.
‘God created the world and destroyed it with the great flood, you all know the story of the great flood and the art of Noah story, the ark built to save some souls, animals etcetera. But that Art of Noah is here. It is a mystery place, and it is along Okeora. The entire Okeora is more than 1000 kilometers in stretch, and if you are not careful you could get lost. It is there, along the belt of Okeora. It runs all the way from Ife to Ondo state, Edo state, it gets to Benin. It is a mystery mountain all the way. I told the world a bit of the story, though our people like to see things, so when they see, they believe. God left those landmarks there, when you see, you will believe it too’.
His imperial Majesty, concluding his speech as he declared Ife as a tourism zone said, ‘With the authority vested on me, I declare the Ile-Ife as a tourism zone to the entire world’!