The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), has stated that the traditional institution in Nigeria and the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), the country’s apex and only cultural institute, have a lot to achieve together in promoting Nigeria’s rich and diverse cultures to the rest of the world, noting that NICO is a very important agency of the Federal Government because of its role in re-orienting and renewing the minds of Nigerians towards cultural renaissance.

The Ooni who disclosed this in his Palace in Ile Ife, Osun State, on Wednesday, 9th March, 2016, while receiving the Executive Secretary of the Institute, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who paid a courtesy call on him, stated that he would be glad to identify with the Institute to sensitize Nigerians, especially the younger generation, about our unique culture, noting that the traditional institution’s synergy with the Institute is very important because the Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and other minor cultures in Nigeria are gradually fading away.

He informed Prof. Ayakoroma that, there are a lot of rich traditions and unique cultures, particularly in Ife, and by extension, Nigeria in general, which the world has not heard about and which he intends to showcase to the entire world with the collaboration of culture organizations like NICO to ameliorate the situation.

The Oba further reiterated that this is pertinent because research has shown that Nigerian and indeed African religion and traditions are the fastest growing in the world and there is urgent need to promote more of this fact to the peoples of the world by going back to our indigenous cultural practices.

Talking about some of the unique aspects of our cultures that are unknown to the rest of the world, the Ooni of Ife informed that his Palace is the oldest traditional institution in the country, yet many Nigerians are not aware of this fact, and welcomed the visit saying, “We need to do a lot together to project our culture to other parts of the world.”

Briefing the Ooni earlier on the purpose of the visit, the NICO ES stated that, it was to congratulate him on his well-deserved choice and installation as the Ooni of Ife, to pay homage, and to pledge his allegiance to the Kabiyesi’s reign.

Ayakoroma used the opportunity to intimate the monarch on the major programmes of NICO, informing that the Institute organizes a National Conference for Traditional Rulers in Nigeria annually with theme: “Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of Traditional Rulers,” which has been pivotal to sensitizing royal fathers on their strategic importance as primary peace agents in sustaining Nigeria’s national security.

According to him, plans are on to organize 2016’s edition of the conference and it is the hope of Management and Staff of NICO that: “Kabiyesi is going to give NICO his royal blessing and sensitise royal fathers in Nigeria to massively give their support towards actualizing this year’s national conference; and when arrangements have been concluded, we would want you, Kabiyesi, to grace the occasion as the Royal Father of the Day.” Ooni4

NICO’s Executive Secretary, who was accompanied on the visit by world-acclaimed female talking drummer, Aralola Apeke Olamuyiwa, his South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. James Imohiosen, SA to the ES, Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh, and the Head of Ibadan State Office, Mr. Kenneth Odum among other staffers of the Institute, presented souvenirs and a collection of books to the Ooni.

It would be recalled that Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Geisi Ruling House of Ile Ife of Osun State was unveiled as the new Ooni of Ife and installed Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), the 51st Ooni of Ife on the 7th of December, 2015, after his predecessor, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who had passed on, on the 28th of July, 2015, after reigning for 35years between 1980 and 2015.      

Jonathan Nicodemus

Corporate Affairs