Veteran Yoruba movie actor, Mr Kareem Adepoju, has called for peace among members of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), after a court judgement on the crisis rocking the national body of the association.
Adepoju, who is popularly known as Baba Wande, said the judgement of the High Court sitting in Ejigbo, Osun State on March 28, 2017 that Mr Victor Asaolu should remain in office as the President of ANTP till February 2018, was not a solution to the crisis bedevilling the association.
He called on all stakeholders including the governors and royal fathers in Nigeria’s South-West region to intervene in the matter and save the ANTP, lauding the efforts of the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, in resolving the crisis.
Speaking during an interview with Channels Television at his residence in Osogbo, Baba Wande appealed to all Yoruba film actors and actresses to come together and speak in one voice to develop the industry.
“Some of us feel that the tenure of the President of ANTP, Mr Victor Ashaolu has expired, but the man insisted that he has not finished his tenure and he took the matter to court instead of leaving the office.
“The man has been in the office as the ANTP President since 2010, whereas he was supposed to spend four years. The matter was brought to a court in Osun here and after several years of litigation, the court eventually ruled that Ashaolu’s tenure will end in February next year.
“As law abiding citizens of this country, we must respect the court and obey the judgement, unless anyone is interested in appealing the judgement in the higher court and that cannot be a solution to the problem we are battling with.
“I want to appeal to all Yoruba film-makers, actors and actresses to unite and speak in one voice in the best interest of all of us. This current crisis in the ANTP will not benefit anyone of us and the society.
“I also want to call on all stakeholders, especially the Governors of Osun, Mr Rauf Aregbesola; Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode; Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene in the ANTP leadership crisis.
“I’m also appealing to our traditional rulers in Yoruba land, especially the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to wade in and help us settle the dispute so that we can be together.
“We are grateful to the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, who has been making frantic efforts to resolve the crisis. We appreciate his efforts so far and we also want him to intensify efforts so that the crisis would be resolved while we unite to make our association great again,” the Yoruba actor said.
Recalled that leading members of the ANTP pulled out from the association and form a parallel association christened Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).
Mr Adebayo Salami, also known as ‘Oga Bello’, Prince Jide Kosoko and Mr Dele Odule, who had a running battle with Mr Ashaolu over the leadership tussle in ANTP, formed TAMPAN in Lagos State.
The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), has been described as the Oduduwa re-incarnate by the the Alayemore of Ido-Osun, Oba Adedapo Aderemi.
Oba Aderemi praised the Ooni for celebrating Obalufon Ogbogbodirin the father of his own ancestor Obalufon Alayemore.
He made the observation on Thursday at the unveiling ceremony of Obalufon Ogbogbodirin Statue and grand-finale celebration of Obalufon Festival, 2016, at the Ile-Oodua palace in Ile-Ife.
Oba Aderemi, who is also the secretary of South-West council Obas told the gathering that Obalufon Ogbogbodirin as a hero gave birth to another hero Obalufon Alayemore who had founded several of today’s Yoruba towns including Ido-Osun.
“Yes they are both heroes worthy of this celebration. My progenitor, Ooni Obalufon Alayemore, succeeded his father Ooni Obalufon Ogbogbodirin, he founded my kingdom Ido-Osun, having been driven out by Oranmiyan who had just returned from his sojourns where had earlier gone to establish many Kingdoms, he forcefully succeeded him as Ooni.
“Apart from Ido-Osun, my father, Alayemore, also founded other towns like Ifon Osun, Ilara, Erin Efon-Alaaye and other towns in Ekiti before he came back here (Ile-Ife) to succeed Oranmiyan making him the only Ooni who was crowned twice,” Oba Alayemore said.
Indications Of Oduduwa Re-incarnation
He commended Ooni Ogunwusi for preaching peaceful co-existence among the Yoruba traditional rulers, acknowledging him to have visited Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi twice within a year of his reign not minding his status as the father of all Oduduwa children all over the world.
Oba Aderemi stated further that within a year, Ooni Ogunwusi had transformed Ile-Ife beyond any imagination, adding that the Ooni’s giant strides in infrastructural development, agricultural revolution, cultural tourism, empowerment for the youths, the aged and widows among others were enough indications of Oduduwa re-incarnation and will remain appreciated by the entire Yoruba race.
“This is unprecedented. I am not surprised that Ooni is reforming these deities’ statues because the previous Oonis from Oduduwa were also known for unprecedented giant strides, let me remind you all here that his great-grandfather, the Ojaja I, was responsible for the first documentation of the history of kingship system in Yoruba around 1883.
“I must also commend the humility of his leadership. Despite the fact he is the spiritual leader of Yoruba race, he has been travelling to meet other Yoruba monarchs in their various palaces without claiming any supremacy” he stated.
The traditional ruler lauded Ooni Ogunwusi for his development and unity of Yorubaland and human race, to the extent of taking his peace and unity campaign to foreign countries such as UK, Ghana, Australia, USA, Germany, Canada and the Caribbeans for impactful partnership.
He averred that ‘Ooni Ogunwusi is Oduduwa’ and has come to complete the unfinished work of his ancestors as the current father of all Yoruba traditional rulers, maintaining that the new Ooni was selected by trinity so as to civilise his community and to bring into remembrance the past glory of Yoruba land.
According to him, no fewer than 401 deities existed globally, but Ife took 201 in which Ooni is the only existing living deity among them all for which he deserves to be duly honoured and respected.
Also, the Obalara of Ifeland, Oba Olugbenga Fadoyin, commended Ooni Ogunwusi for celebrating the past powerful ancestors that showcase the existence of humanity.
Fadoyin said that Obalufon was a great hero who used all his life for the safety of Yorubas adding that the work of art started from the cradle of Yorubas in his time as Ooni of Ife.
Detailed Historical Account
On his part, the Obalufe of Iremo-Ife, Oba Idowu Adediwura, applauded Oba Ogunwusi for promoting Yoruba culture and uplifting work of his forefathers.
Adediwura urged indigenes of Ife and Yorubaland to support the African foremost monarch so as to take Ife and Oodua race to its promise land.
In his remarks, the Ooni thanked the traditional rulers and other guests who witnessed the occasion, stating that Obalufon played a pivotal role across the world which calls for his celebration at all time.
He gave a detailed historical account, saying Obalufon Ogbogbodinrin was created in his special way by God and lived a very special life particularly in the area of arts and fabrics.
“Ile Ife has been a city state with unprecedented socio-economic significance and a sophisticated kingship system (Oduduwa Monarchy model) thousands of years before Christ. Obalufon alayemore was the fifth Ooni of Ife and the son of Ooni Obalufon Ogbogbodirin the fourth Ooni, they were from the lineage of Osangangan Obamakin the Second Ooni of Ife.
“Obalufon Ogbogbodirin reigned for centuries and was transfigured into a metal figurine as he ages, thus becoming a deity and holds the spiritual classified codes for Ooni’s long reign.
“His son, Obalufon Alayemore’s reign was marked with the first ever renaissance recorded in human history (pre-dating the Carolingian renaissance of 8th -9th century) evident in the artifacts and ancient technological exploits that was credited to his historic tenure.
“He was the grand patron of arts, science and technology with kin value for intellectual excellence and artistic intricacies, urbanization, economic revolution, standardization of career paths, conflict resolution, wages and salary system”.
“Obalufon Alayemore was also deemed to have established many other towns and cities like Ido Osun, Efon Alaye, Erin and many more.
“Obalufon Alayemore created new city plan for Ile-Ife with construction of several temples and building of city walls which economically enhanced cosmopolitan state of Ife. Bronze casting and all forms of alloys and metals crafts, glass beads and other jewels got to its peak of refinement during his reign further making Ife a commercial hub.
“Obalufon Alayemore was transformed into a stone effigy when his reign was ended by conspiracy associated with traditional and political complexes.
“Obalufon shrine till date plays an important role in the Installation of the Ooni, as Aare crown must be blessed in his shrine before it could adore the head of the new Ooni”. Ooni Ogunwusi stated,” Oba Ogunwusi told the gathering.
The Ooni had earlier described the unveiling of Obalufon statue as another remarkable day in the history of Ife, Yoruba and the entire black race, saying that all the ancestors needed to be celebrated, having gone through their history when they were alive.
He charged the Yorubas to always promote their culture and heritage which he said were the next solution to economically move Nigeria forward.
“America does not usually send top officers for such visits if they have not used certain parameters to gauge the country’s performance,” he stated.
President Buhari had told Mr Kerry at a meeting that his administration would institutionalise the anti-corruption war to ensure it would last beyond his current tenure in office.
On the outcome of the Thursday meeting, Oba Adeyemi decried what he called huge resources that were lost to the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers and commended the Federal Government for stopping them from the invasion of the south-west, especially Lagos State.
He expressed joy that the Federal Government responded immediately to wipe out the threat.
The Alafin further told reporters that normalcy had since returned to Ikorodu and Arepo areas of Lagos State and Ogun State where militants’ criminal activities were beginning to surge.
Nigeria’s crude oil output had dropped by 700,000 barrels per day to 1.56 million bpd, as a result of attacks on oil installations largely carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers.
Governor Kashim Shettima says the residents of Borno State in northeast Nigeria have earned the respect of the world.
Governor Shettima made the statement during the 22nd convocation ceremony of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) held in the state capital.
The Governor also commended both staff and students of the University for their courage, despite the security challenges in Borno State.
“The people of Borno and anyone living in Maiduguri, including the students of this university have earned the respect of the world.
“To live in the circumstances under which you lived in the past few years with bombings and shootings and insecurity, and to have the courage to continue to come and teach and learn, and continue with your lives is indeed a remarkable achievement for any people,” he said.
Governor Shettima and his Niger State counterpart, Abubakar Bello, who are both alumni of UNIMAID, renewed the hopes of undergraduates and the newly inducted alumni from their personal experiences.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, urged Nigerian universities to intensify research.
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ibrahim Njodi, appealed for sustained support and funding of the institution to improve learning standards.
The university also conferred honorary degrees on the Chancellor of the University, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, and Professor Russel Galen while former Head of State, late General Murtala Mohammed, bagged a posthumous Doctor of Laws award.
In acceptance remark, the Emir of Kano saluted the courage of the new graduates and the university community for defying insecurity threat to pursue their goals.
The University is graduating a total of 37,259 students spread across five sets of 2009/2010 and 2014/2015 academic sessions from 12 colleges and faculties, distance learning centre and 23 affiliated colleges. In all 172 students obtained first class degrees.
According to officials, UNIMAID’s 22nd combined convocation was a fallout of the improved security situation in Borno State.
The 21st convocation ceremony was held in October 2010 as the university could not hold any convocation due to the lingering security challenge in the region.
President Goodluck Jonathan has sought the support of traditional rulers in south-west Nigeria in his second term bid, as part of efforts to win the March 28 elections.
At a meeting between the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, held in his palace, the President assured the leaders that serious efforts were being put into the revival of the power sector to make good the government’s promise to the people.
President Jonathan also said that the report of the national conference wass ready and would be implemented to the letter with the help of the National Assembly.
The high powered PDP delegation at the meeting, led by the President, included the National Chairman of the party, Mr Adamu Muazu, Minister of State for the Federal Capital, Jumoke Akinjide, Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoroa and Senator Teslim Folarin among others.
The foremost monarch, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, expressed gratitude for the visit and prayed for the country and President Jonathan. He expressed optimism that the people of Oyo State would support the president in the polls ahead.
Political analysts have stressed that for President Jonathan to emerge winner in the rescheduled polls, he would need to win the south-west, which is the geo-political zone with the second largest number of voters. It has over 13 million voters.
The north-west, where the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), is from, is the largest geo-political zone, with not less than 18 million registered voters.
The traditional rulers who attended the meeting with Jonathan in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, were about 20 and they were led by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo. Others at the meeting were the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Michael Sonariwo and the Olowu of Owu, Oba Dosunmu.
The Awujale and the Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, and Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle were absent.