By Sodiq Lawal
The government of the Canada has intensified her efforts in the contest for the membership of the Security Council in the United Nations by urging the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi to rally Nigeria and other African countries to support the country in her bid for the influential UN seat with a promise to continue treating Africans as valued stakeholders and friends of Canada.
Canada’s minister of immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Hon. Ahmed Hussein representing the Prime Minister, Rt.Hon. Justin Pierre Trudeau made this request while receiving Ooni Ogunwusi in Ottawa on Thursday, saying that the monarch has the goodwill to play such a role.
He said “Your Imperial Majesty, I receive you today on behalf of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Justin Pierre Trudeau with much happiness as you have come to celebrate the 150th Independence Anniversary with us. You have indeed redefined the Monarchy in African with your various progressive roles in the short time you have been on the throne”
“Canada will be contesting for a position in Security Council of the UN very soon and we would need to secure the votes of countries of the world especially Africa because we have always treated the Africans as our brothers and that is why our immigration policies have always been friendly to Africa”.
The Somalian born Canadian Minister also told the Ooni and his entourage that Canada has already earmarked a sum of $119.250milion to support three African countries, Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia.
“We are proactive as government when it comes to Africa. We recently announced a sum of $119.250m as a relief fund to support Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia in addition to our Africa immigration and Education flexible policy to encourage African students to study and work in Canada”.
Earlier while introducing the visiting African foremost monarch to the Minister, the Nigeria’s Acting High Commissioner in Canada, Mr Oluremi Oliyide described Ooni Ogunwusi as the new face of the African peace, unity and progress who has dedicated his throne to the African youth, saying the monarch was in Canada not only to participate in ongoing 150th independence celebration but also to meet with the Nigerians in Canada sensitizing them on the need to uphold the African cultural and traditional values and be good ambassadors in Canada.
In his reaction, the Ooni thanked the government of Canada for making the country very conducive for Nigerians and other Africans to stay in.
He said he was in the country with the aim of promoting cultural exchange strengthening the ties between the country and Africa.
“We are here to further rejoice with you with a view to promoting cultural exchange between Nigeria and Canada.
“We are one before God Almighty and it been proven scientifically by various researchers in the Western world who have now admitted that the mankind actually started from Africa”
“We are also here to meet with Nigerians and Africans with the objective of using our culture and traditions in ensuring unity, peace and progress for the continent”, He said
It will be recalled that the monarch had on Tuesday morning arrived Toronto in Canada accompanied by his wife and Yeyeluwa of the source, Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi, the Alie of Ilie, Oba Oladapo Olagunsoye, the Onigbayi of Igbaye, Oba Joseph Moronfoye and the Oloba of Oba-Ile, Oba Dr Oyeyemi Asamu Oyegbade.
They were received by some Canadian officials and a mammoth crowd of Nigerians led by the Nigeria’s Acting Ambassador, Mr Oluremi Oluyide accompanied by the head of Chancery Mrs Joy Akinmoladun, leader of the Nigerian Community in Canada, Dr Ola Kazeem, leader of Nigerians Ottawa Mr John Adeyefa, his Toronto Counterpart,Mr Chidi Nwayawu.
Others are Mrs Abi Goodman of OZ Consulting Ltd, Mrs and Peju Oke.
Ooni Ogunwusi was presented with a flag of the Republic of Canada and decorated with Crest of the country’s 150th Independence Anniversary by the excited minister on behalf of the Prime Minister.