Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Alaafin of Oyo Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Southwest governors yesterday came to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for the launching of Yoruba World Centre, an initiative of Mr. Alao Adedayo, the publisher of Alaroye Newspaper.
The centre is to promote Yoruba custom and tradition.
Prof. Osinbajo urged the centre to champion the return of artefacts that were looted and illegally taken away from Yoruba land.
He said the centre must serve as a home for the returned items.
“The World Centre should serve not just as a place of memory, but also as a place that inspires the Yoruba. It should fire collective imagination, even within the dynamic contexts of advances in technology, ideas and thoughts,” he said.
The vice-president said that the centre should offer a base to reflect on how Yoruba culture can contribute to the tools of nation building by bringing together people, irrespective of their ethnic and religious diversities.
He hailed the architects of the initiative led by Adedayo for the boldness and ambition of their enterprise, and for the enormous self-sacrifice and patriotism that this entailed.
Oba Adeyemi said that the Yoruba culture was based on scientific and intellectual foundation.
He enjoined the Yoruba to support the project for the betterment of their race.
Oyo State Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan, who represented Governor Seyi Makinde, advised Yoruba leaders to shun distortion of facts, saying this has been hindering progress in Yorubaland.
“Let us look for a way to bring back the values of Yoruba custom and tradition so as to compete with others in the world,” he said.
Ogun State Deputy Governor Mrs. Noimot Salako, who represented Governor Dapo Abiodun, said that the project would boost tourism potential and Yoruba cultural heritage.
She commended the centre, promising the support of the state government for the realisation of its ideal.
Ondo State Deputy Governor Lucky Ayetida, who represented Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, described the project as a laudable one.
He said that the Yoruba had a great culture.