All governors and traditional rulers from six South-west states will converge on Ibadan friday to mark the 120th anniversary of Kiriji War, the world’s longest civil conflict which started in the 19th anniversary and end in the 20th century.
This was contained in a statement, which the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Chief Segun Odegbami and Executive Director of Yoruba Academy, Dr. Ade Adeagbo jointly signed wednesday.
The statement provided historical background to the war, noting that September 23 “is an important date in Yoruba history being the day the Kiriji War Armistice was signed to bring an end to waves of civil wars in Yorubaland.”
It explained that the 19th Century featured many internecine wars in Yorubaland and was a big economy in at the time, which it said, should be leveraged upon to promote peace and sustainable development in the region.
It said warlords’ dispositions determine “to a large extent the socioeconomic profile of Yoruba people. In contrast, the 20th century, after the treaty was signed, ushered in an era of great socioeconomic progress.
“This tells us that when hostility is adopted as a strategy for resolving conflict, sustainable and inclusive development remains elusive and both parties end up losing more than whatever they think is their gain”
Having the record of the longest civil war, the statement added that Kiriji “has a lesson for Yoruba people, Nigeria, and the entire world. Yoruba people should therefore be proud of this heritage and come out to celebrate on that day. It will be an epic event and we hope it will provide the needed spark for the plug of renaissance in Yorubaland and Nigeria.
However, the statement said the Yoruba Academy, a policy research and cultural institution, would host Yoruba traditional rulers, governors and leaders in various sectors on September 23 for a conference themed “Celebrating Yoruba.”
It added that the conference would leverage on the symbolism of the date “to celebrate the dynamism of Yoruba people, particularly their inherent culture of peace and tolerance.
“It will feature presentations from an acclaimed columnist, Mrs. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju and renowned professors Banji Akintoye – a foremost Yoruba historian and second republic senator – and Olutayo Adesina of the University of Ibadan. There will be performances by Tunde Kelani, Brymo, Ajobiewe, Edaoto and others.”
The statement said the Yoruba Academy “has the consensus mandate of traditional rulers and political leaders to organise the event. It is a day that every Yoruba will be proud of because its historical antecedence is relevant to the 21st century global challenges of conflict prevention and resolutions.
“We need to send this message of peace and unity to our people at home and in the diaspora through the celebration of our history and rich culture. The world is in dire need of models of peaceful coexistence and development and we believe Yorubaland offers this in abundance.”