By Sodiq Lawal
Thousands of residents, tourists, Nollywood actors and actresses on Monday and Tuesday joined the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwunsi to celebrate Ile Aje festival.
The Ooni has said that survival of the African people rests heavily on the sustainability of the Traditional Culture saying government and the people must collective utilize the culture as a way to greatly record productive economic advancement.
Ooni Ogunwusi who is the Spiritual leader of the Yoruba race worldwide made the disclosure on Monday during the celebrations of annual Aje Festival (deity of wealth) in Ile-Ife.
He said that Nigeria is abundantly blessed with cultural tourism potentials capable of turning the country to a viable economic nation.
The African foremost monarch added that the county’s cultural potentials should be productively showcased as culture does not affect religions saying Culture does not even have a specific religion.
“As Christians or Muslims, we all need to respect our cultural heritage.”
“In 2017, we prayed during the Aje Festival and we centered our prayers on the economic recession, and within one week, we surprisingly experienced dollar crash from about N480 to N350. “
” We have prayed and very soon, the economy will improve tremendously “. Ooni said.
“AJE is the spirit of market profitability. That is why it’s festival is very important to all humanity, because nobody can survive without it”.
“If we do business, profit is expected, if you work you expect stipends at the end of the month, so that is simply ‘Aje’, ” , he expressed.
He urged the Youths to be industrious so as to fulfill their destiny and not to take the short-cut route to success.
The Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria implored Youths to be agents of peace and refuse to engage in brigandage as election period is drawing nearer. He also prayed for the peace and progress of Ile-Ife, State of Osun, Nigeria, Africa and the world as a whole.
“Don’t let politicians use you for thuggery or election violence as you too can be in their positions if you discover yourself and remain focused and full of determination. ” he counselled.
“As we are gathered here today to celebrate AJE the festival of wealth, the Almighty Olodumare(God) will answer our prayers, he will abundantly give us peace and economic progress in Ile-Ife, in the State of Osun, in Nigeria, in Africa and. the world at large.”Ooni prayed
In her speech, the Iyalaje of Apapa, Lagos and the Chief Promoter of 2018 AJE Festival, Princess Toyin Kolade, said that Yoruba culture is too important and rich to be ignored if we a must be seen as a serious people who care for the future generations because it depicts a significant perspective.
According to her, Aje is a festival of wealth which radiates on all the nooks and crannies of the world from its root at Ejigbomekun market, the world’s oldest market located at Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race.
She called Nigerians to value their cultural heritage, rather than ignoring them in favour because of foreign Culture and religion.
Veteran Yoruba Film Actress, Mrs Idowu Philips popularly called “Mama Rainbow” who led other Nollywood actors/actresses including Saheed Balogun in her short speech eulogised Ooni Ogunwusi for his unprecedented strides especially in peace making and cultural tourism revolution. Mama Rainbow urged all the other Traditional rulers in Yorubaland to emulate the Ooni who she described as “uncommon king”.