The search for unity and cultural identity among tribes and regions in the Southern part of Nigeria took a new dimension yesterday with traditional rulers and leaders not only agreeing that they shared common ancestors but also unanimously agreeing to work together in peace henceforth.
Speaking at a Conference on African Origins which explored empirical analysis on the origins of Nigerian people, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in company with the Attah of Igala, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Michael Amen Oboni; the Jaja of Opobo, King Dandeson Douglas; the Oba of Benin His Royal Majesty, Omo Nâ€™Oba Nâ€™Edo Uku Akpolopolo (represented), all agreed that flowing from the historical linkages of the people of the South, it is high time the people unite.
The conference, described as beginning of an extensive public awareness to enlighten and empower the black African with their true genetic and cultural histories and which attracted eminent person from the South-west, South-south and South-east followed a new scientific evidence on the dominance of the Yoruba genetics in the evolution of black race all over the world as presented by the author of the The Blackworld: Evolution to Revolution, Prince Justice Faloye.
Earlier, the President, Genetic Society of Nigeria, Prof Kwon Ndung, who spoke extensively on the topic: â€˜An Overview of the Genetic/DNA Studies on Origin, Migration and Diversity of African People from the background of the Human Genome Project conceived in 1984 but which started in 1990 and Prof Joseph Agbakoba from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, both established both genetic and cultural links between the Yoruba, Ibo, Igala, Tiv, Udoma and other major tribes in the South.
According to Ndung, a complete sequence of pooled DNA extracted from cells donated by anonymous donors, had established that 70 per cent of Nigerians are the original Africans.
Speaking on the new findings, the Ooni of Ife, who urged the people of the Southern part of the country to return back to the era of their ancestry and unite for peace and progress.
â€œYou have heard series of lectures and a couple of speakers. It is about time to unite and be one and speak with one voice, especially we the aborigines.
â€œUnited we stand, divided we fall. Everything is there for us to see. Let us come together for the sake of generation yet unborn. We cannot continue like this.
â€œIf we speak with one voice and protect one and other across board, the generation yet unborn will be happy. We cannot continue to be divided. We are killing ourselves. Let us look inwards to take our region to the next level. It is very critical for us to know our culture. Look at Japan, China, India, even the USA, they did not jettison their heritage,â€ Ooni Ogunwusi said.
Also lending voice to the development, King Jaja of Opobo said: â€œThis is the best thing we are doing now to promote our culture and homogeneity. I am happy to be here. Let us tell government that a country without history canâ€™t go anywhere.
We should come together. The Civic Study they teach in schools cannot replace history. So, these lectures should be put together as a compendium for generations to come to learn about our history,â€ he said.
The President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, was particularly elated about the discovery of the common ancestors shared by the Yoruba, Ibo and other tribes in the Southern part of the country, stressing that â€œIâ€™m extremely delighted to be here. What I have heard today, not just from the scholars, but also from the traditional rulers elates me.
â€œOne thing that is clear is that in the evolution tree, the world started in Africa. What this goes to show is that we are the same but colonial rules and post -colonial military ruler has bastardised our origin and disfigured our imagination. This symposium has opened our eyes to our commonalities. I invite you to hold this symposium in Enugu so that our people can learn of our common origins.â€
Other notable speaker, which include among others, Afenifere leaders, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Professor of History, Prof Banji Akintoye, were united in their positions that based on Archeological, anthropologist evidence presented, the races in the Southern part of Nigeria are standing on the day of the beginning of their proper history.
â€œWe must push it forward. We must teach it to our children. We must proclaim it on the roof top that the original black people have discovered our history,â€ Akintoye said.