By Moses Olafare
Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife Kingdom in Nigeria, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, was on Tuesday hosted by the President of Brazil, His Excellency Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Brasilia, Brazil’s Federal Capital Territory as Royal Guest of Honour during the official launching of annual African Religion Day(ISESE DAY) which held inside the banquet hall at the President’s office in Brasilia, Capital of Brazil.
Ooni, an African foremost and dynamic king of youth development who has been in Brazil’s states of Sao Paulo , Rio De Janeiro, Salvador Bahia and Brasilia on a 5 day working visit in continuation of his global tour for African People’s Peace and Progress Agenda also while in the country unveiled some initiatives for the reunification of the over 100 milion Afro-Brazilians via his program tagged “Back To Home”
In their talks after the event, Ooni Ogunwusi explained that Afro-Brazilians like their other counterparts in Brazil have done a lot to prove their love and support for the country, urging President Lula not to renege on his promise of an inclusive pro African government.
“I can remember very vividly when your visi to Nigeria in 2003 during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s term, you still have the love and respect of the African people. We have you in our prayers and we pray that the Almighty Olodumare(God) continues to be with you, with your darling wife who is my daughter and your administration. Africa is proud of you.
In his response, President Lula da Silva thanked The Ooni for his love for him and his wife who he referred to as “Ooni’s daughter” lauded the king for his mission towards reunification of not just the Afro-Brazilians but also Africans worldwide which he believes means well for the global peace.
President Lula told Ooni Ogunwusi that the efforts of the Afro-Brazilians towards nation building in Brazil can not be over emphasized, adding that his government is committed to strengthening the ties between Brazil and Africa which is the home continent of his people.
“My wife is here me always calls you “My father” Your love for us and for our country is indeed well appreciated and I promise you of my continued love for Africa. I have visited 44 countries in Africa and opened 19 embassies because Brazil of my administration has an historic pact to Africa.
My wife and are extremely fulfilled as your presence here today assures that this ISESE DAY has come to stay”
President Lula said.
Earlier in the day, the Ooni was at the Federal House of Representatives Chamber in Brasilia where he addressed a special parliamentary session organized in his honour.
At the event which was well attended by the federal lawmakers, Cabinet Ministers and top Brazilian dignitaries, Ooni Ogunwusi called for unity of African descendants across the world, urging the legislative arm of Brazilian government to support President Lula with necessary pro Afro-Brazilian legislations.
“We can not afford to be divided again. We are one, irrespective of colour and race. President Lula is our pride, he remains determined to do well for Africa, and you must support him with legislations helpful to his mission for Africa. That’s all I beg of you if truly we are one big family. What we need now is to unite for growth of all persons and be good to all regardless of religious and cultural differences.
“Look at the good-looking Afro-Brazilians in this chamber who have stormed here to honour me.They all look like my first cousins back home in Nigeria and in other African countries, we are one people and the earlier we recognize the strength in our unity the better for us all.
“I am sitting on an ancient throne of over hundreds of centuries, a sacred throne of the Kingdom where most of you all migrated from. Beyond here in Brasil, I am delighted to inform you that you all have a home in my Kingdom and there are free lands for you to come and build your homes across Africa.
“I vow never to forget you, you are a major part of us in my Kingdom of Ile-Ife and we hope to receive you home soon as possible , in fact ,I have deliberately mapped out free land for you all to come and live, invest and reside.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Parliament’s Deputy Speaker, Hon. Deputado Vicentinho Requerente, who led other lawmakers to receive the foremost African monarch in the parliament, described the Ooni as a caring father whom the Afro-Brazilian community holds in a very high esteem.
The lawmaker who expressed his heartfelt joy in Portuguese, said, “Your presence here today has added to the dignity of people of African origin in Brazil and this day will remain a history making day for life.”
After the parliamentary session, the Arole Oduduwa was hosted at the Nigeria House in Brasil by the Nigerian Ambassador to the country, Amb. Ahmad Muhammed Makarfi who led other African Diplomats to receive the Spiritual Leader of the Yoruba people and the Oduduwa race worldwide.
Accompanied by his amiable queens; Olori Mariam Anako Ogunwusi and Olori Aderonke-Ademiluyi Ogunwusi, the Ooni who is Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) was on the trip with about 40 entourage including notable Yoruba kings like The ALARA of Ilara, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, The Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Joseph Adewole, The Alapomu of Apomu Kingdom, Oba Afolabi Kayode Adenekan and The Alayemore of Ido-Osun, Oba Adedapo Aderemi. Others on the entourage include his brother who is the Sooko Laekun of Ife Kingdom, Prince Adegboyega Ogunwusi, CEO of Ife Grand Resort in Ile-Ife, Princess Kemi Fadojutimi and a retinue of his aides.
Otunba Moses Olafare,
Director, Media and Public Affairs,