Arole Oodua and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has charged Nigerians residing in Canada to in the spirit of patriotism come together to join the government and the people of Nigeria in proffering solutions to the economic challenges facing the country.
The foremost African monarch gave the admonition yesterday during a ceremony of Proclamation Day and Flag Exchange presentation of city key in honour Oba Ogunwusi by the Mayor of Brampton in Toronto, Patrick Brown, his wife Genevieve, cabinet members and members of Nigeria community led by His Excellency, Ambassador Adeyinka Asekun, alongside senior officials of the embassy of Nigeria in Canada.
Welcoming the visiting Ooni and his entourage in his speech, the 41-year-old Mayor expressed delights at hosting the epoch event, describing himself as being lucky receiving such a revered African king.
“Your Imperial Majesty, I feel so delighted to be your host today. The city of Brampton is humble to be your host for this great event because you are one of the greatest kings in the world.
“I visited Nigeria in 2006 and I was in love with the country. It is a great country of great people and great cultures.
“We know you, you have been preaching peace and harmony all over the world and that is why we have decided to honour you today,” Brown said.
According to the Mayor, the City of Brampton hosts over 60,000 Africans and Caribbeans with Nigerians standing out, contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the city and Canada in general.
“This city has over 60,000 Africans including Caribbeans residing here. This population has more Nigerians doing very great.
“Your Majesty, I feel great everyday to see these great Nigerians contributing to the development of Brampton and Canada socially and economically.
“I look forward to visiting Nigeria soon for productive collaboration and my first point of call will be Ile-Ife because I have read and heard about the cultural richness of Yoruba people who have you as the overall head,” he added.
Oba Ogunwusi, in speech, proclaimed Brampton as the city of love, appreciating the warm reception and honour given him.
“I proclaim this city as ‘city of love’ because you have so welcoming and receptive. I could feel in your spirit what is called love through this warm reception.
“You have been good to Nigerians and I feel so proud of the positive roles Nigerians are also playing in the economic life of this city which is the fastest growing city in Canada. I confirmed this during my meeting with the cabinet members of this government who told me how Nigerians have impacted positively. It is now evident that good things can actually come out of Africa,” Oba Ogunwusi said.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Media and Public Affairs,
Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare.
Admonishing Nigerians in Canada to be patriotic ambassadors, the traditional ruler said: “We wish everyone can be like Canada. We know what Canada means – ‘man must be kind to one another.’ Canada is doing this.
“We as Nigerians should always think of how to benefit our country for the goodness of our unborn generations. I appeal to you Nigerians living here never to write off your country.
“This proclamation doesn’t go to me alone; it goes to all of you from Nigeria. These are the ways we should be portraying Nigeria to the world.
“I hold this honour of proclamation and flag exchange dear to my heart and I will carry it with pride.
“In appreciation of this honour, I also bring you a gift of bronze cast which emanated from our land in Africa,” he said.
Oba Ogunwusi, who is the Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), was accompanied to the event by his beautiful queen, Olori Silekunola Ogunwusi (Yeyeluwa), the Nigerian Ambassador to Canada; the Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko, HRM Oba Yisa Olanipekun; the Oloba of Oba-Ile, HRM Oba Adekunle Oyeyemi; Reverend Mother Esther Ajayi (Iya Adura); Coordinator of Imperial Awards & CEO of Hope4Sure Initiatives, Miss Peju Oke; Toronto-based pharmaceutical business giant, Prof. Isa Odidi; Chairman of Okey Equipments, Mr. Okey Eze; members and leaders of Nigerian community in Canada.