By Ayomide Adeloye
The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, played host to the Ovie of Ozoro kingdom, Delta State, Ovietobore Ogbogbo, on Saturday at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife.
While receiving the monarch who was flanked by his queen, chiefs and other dignitaries from the Delta kingdom, Ooni Ogunwusi admonished that Africans and indeed Nigerians should not dispose their cultural heritage on the basis of confliction with religion.
Ooni who is the Spiritual head of the Yoruba race explained that there are distinctions between religion and culture and they must be carefully studied and practiced with one not encroaching on the other.
“How can you be sitting on honey and milk and not enjoying? Something is not adding up and what you need to do is to visit your history. I am aware of your rich cultural heritage, please do not throw them away for civilization or religion.
“You need to know the difference between cultural heritage and spirituality. Visit your history and look into those things your ancestors used to do, do not think you are worshipping idols.
“I am the spiritual head of the Yoruba people and I am saying it with all authority. When you get home, gather your elders and speak to your ancestors, they will hear you. Don’t fight, just speak to the land of Uzoro and it’ll hear you.” The Ooni advised.
On the South-South kingdom’s relationship with their Yoruba counterpart in the Southwest part of Nigeria, Ooni Ogunwusi revealed that they belong to Oluyare Compound in Ife and their lineage remain unambiguously known to all.
“Oranmiyan who was an Ife Prince left home to establish the Benin kingdom from which Ozoro emanated from, now you see we are one. I want you to visit the Orun Oba Ado groove, Oduduwa groove, Oranmiyan groove and other places of significance to help you get the clear picture of what I am saying.
Earlier in his speech, the Ovie of Ozoro Kingdom, Ovietobore Ogbogbo, described the Ooni as a wonderful monarch whose leadership knacks are immeasurable.
“I decided to come here to have a feel of home and I am convinced that this is home, this is root. I am so happy and excited to tap from the grace and I pray that this shall be the beginning of good things in Ife and Ozoro kingdoms.
Guests at the event including the Oore of Otun Ekiti, Oba Adekunle Adeagbo, were thrilled with performances of palace cultural dancers, drummers and the Princesses from Ozoro Kingdom who made the big day colourful.