In Ile-Ife, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has issued a compelling challenge to academia within Nigerian universities. He urges them to redirect their efforts toward the comprehensive documentation of Yoruba history, rather than relying on incomplete and biased narratives.
The Ooni emphasizes that thorough documentation serves not only to unite but also to unveil the interconnectedness that exists among different ethnic groups. He points out that there is evidence indicating that the Igbo people have historical ties to Ile-Ife, a revelation that underscores the importance of accurate historical records.
This challenge was presented as the Ooni addressed journalists in anticipation of an International Conference titled “Ile-Ife and Yoruba Civilization: the Nexus between Tradition and Modernity” at his palace in Ife.
The Ooni notes that only about a quarter of Yoruba history has been properly documented to date. Therefore, he collaborates with selected universities in the country to emphasize the necessity of meticulously documenting the Yoruba race’s history, with the ultimate goal of fostering unity among Yoruba people worldwide.
He stresses that this initiative does not require government involvement, as its primary focus is to gather and present historical facts accurately. The aim is to ensure that future generations receive a well-documented and accurate account of their heritage.
Professor Siyan Oyeweso, a renowned historian, also underscores the conference’s objective. It aims to bring together scholars across Nigeria to engage in discussions about the proper documentation of Yoruba history, with a specific focus on Ile-Ife as the cradle of the Yoruba race.