Otunba Dr Gani Adams , National Coordinator Oodua People’s Congress , OPC and Oodua Progressive Union , OPU at the inauguration of Oodua Voice and Magazine on Tuesday 17 November 2015 gives concrete reason for the establishment of the online radio and magazine.
Otunba started is speech by thanking Eledumare .
” With special thanks to Eledumare , the creator of heaven and Earth and everything there in and
under , do I welcome you to the inauguration of Oodua Voice and Oodua Magazine , the two which are online platforms will be wholly
dedicated to the promotion and celebration of the pristine Yoruba cultural values, customs, ethics, norms and tradition.
The vision to plant these platforms of communication is not out of mere wishful thinking or brain wave. It is in continuation of the vision and graduation of the path finding strides of Oodua Progressive Union , which was
convened to protect , enhance , showcase cultural integrity , values , heritage , tradition of Yoruba outside the geographical contraption of Nigeria, apology to the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo who founded the Egbe Omo Oduduwa here in London in 1947.
I will however seek your indulgence as Yoruba to let us rise and offer a minute silent for the repose of the soul of Chief (Mrs) H I D Awolowo, the wife of the sage who has joined the saints and whose funeral ceremonies are on in Nigeria. (May her Soul rest in Perfect Peace).
I must however, once again , draw your attention to the difference between OPC and OPU . While
OPC is a self determination group with his activities restricted within confine of political Nigeria , the OPU is a socio- cultural organisation formed purposely to promote , market , rejuvenate and stoke the dying embers of Yoruba
cultural tourism heritage of the Yoruba in Diaspora.
One of the primordial distinguishing factors , which set us , the Yoruba people , who have been estimated to be over 200million scattered all over the world with almost 60 million in
Nigeria , according to the CIA World Fact book making us one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa, is the uniqueness of our culture and tradition .
Reinforcing this CIA World Fact Book, a BBC documentary aired 3 years ago revealed that “ Yoruba is the fifth respectable race in the world“
Regrettably this culture and tradition which make the Yoruba why they are who they are is gradually being swept inside the Ocean by the torrent wave of superlative indoctrination ,systematic cultural imperialism via exposition to unbridled vogues , unrestricted aping of fads , socio effect of globalization and culturally indecent social interaction .
In fact , apart from the drifting effect of the slave trade which displaced and dispersed millions of Yoruba people from their homes stead to different parts of the world , the oil gloom which plunged the nation into economic doom in early 80 also caused a mass exodus of Yoruba to other foreign countries . These and others have swollen up the number of Yoruba in the Diaspora.
It will surprise all that UNO research revealed that the more the Yoruba people are settling abroad , the fast with which they forget their culture , values , tradition and tradition of their
forefather In fact , a BBC reporter recently revealed that the Yoruba language is being buried here in
London , by the Yoruba who majorly domiciled around Peckham “” The Yoruba language is declining in use in the Peckham area despite the growing Nigerian population.”
In many Yoruba homes both at home and here, some of us consider speaking Yoruba to our children as a taboo thus able following and perpetuating the demonization of the Yoruba
language by the colonialist who described it as ‘”vernacular , language of the natives “or as a form of communication totally uncouth “
In some instances, it has been cases of total assimilation of the cultural values and tradition of the host countries with total abandonment, denunciation and abhorring of theirs in a shameful manner that their siblings and children will never dreamt of talking about not to talk of practising and embracing it.
Thus , the alarming declining values of the pristine Yoruba culture among the Diaspora.
Yoruba stoked the passion of salvation in us which led to the formation of Oodua Progressive Union, The Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) is a pan-Yoruba organization formed in 2011 to create an enabling platform for the sons and daughters of Yoruba ancestors in Diaspora.
The OPU is a non-governmental, non – political , non-religious organization, formed by like minds to foster unity among the Yoruba race and provide a platform for all Yoruba sons and daughters in the Diaspora to work for the common interest of Yoruba land.
The OPU was born here in Great Britain as the Egbe Omo Oduduwa was formed her in 1947 by Chief Obafemi Awolowo , but OPU was officially launched in India November 2012. On September
7th, 2013 Great Britain was launched followed by the launch in Holland on September 14th, France on September 12th, and Germany on September 10th and recently Austria chapter was launched on the 16th of August 2014 at Vienna, Austria.
On the Last count, the OPU now exists in 63 countries across the world with the newest one launched on Saturday 8 November 2015 in Senegal . .
The Organization is saddled with the responsibility of re-awakening the dead spirit of the culturally diverse Yoruba nation, with a strong determination and objective of emancipating, liberating, orientating and re-orientating the
The OPU seeks to strengthen the fabric of cohesion, unity and integration of Yoruba people across Yoruba land.
We are of the firm belief that with the common sense of purpose, the Yoruba race can work towards realizing the dreams and aspirations of our forefathers. The nationalism instinct in us.
We have travelled far and wide in planting Oodua Progressive union in these countries . We have established contacts , made connections and engaged diplomats and ambassadors who all testified and commended
the vision and mission of OPU , thus reinforcing the efforts and supporting the strides with inspiring words and platitude.
We noted that it is not just enough to have all the structure, established the contacts and keeping the move without planting the platform of communication and dissemination of information to the millions of Yoruba people both home and in Diaspora and other races to know about our uniqueness and clear wrong
impression about our heritage .
You will agree with me that an organisation which rely solely on patronage of communication
platforms at this age of information super highway may be defective in its stride to effective pass messages and information to the public .
Thus, the setting up of the Oodua Voice Radio and Magazine is a deliberate attempt to establish platforms of communication solely for the public and celebrate, enhance, promote, transmit and showcase Yoruba culture and ethics from here in London.
We must ensure that the pristine Yoruba tradition, culture, ethics, mores and values are daily celebrated on international platform and fora or less we are forgotten as a race.
For a race which its enlightened generation and corps are not in tune with its culture and tradition always end up in cultural oblivion.
This we shall not and will not do.
Thus, this first step and a Phase 1 of the plan to establish an internationally functional Media outreach as the next step will be the registration of a Television and FM stations.
As I said earlier , these media platforms will be solely for the promotion of and showcasing of Yoruba culture , values and tradition in a way that has never being done before I hereby called on all of us who are truly products of Oduduwa to see this platform as our collective projects which should be supported and reinforced with intellectual, moral and evidential sources needed to drum to the ears of Yoruba in Diaspora , the best of the Yoruba culture and values I will not end this short address without
acknowledging the efforts of members of OPU in the UK, European Union and OPU worldwide , I must also note also the undying spirit of a young man , Prince Lashley Ladigbolu and his team which include Dr Remi Majekodunmi, Bimbola Obisesan , Tech Media Incorporation , Muyiwa Adekunle , Bubble Master and practitioners of
journalism in UK for ensuring that Odua Voice and Magazine is real in London .
Lastly I have to thank Eledumare for sowing the vision and making the mission possible.
I commend all of us in this hall for creating time to be part of history and witnessing the inauguration of this media platform and pray for
Adele bare . Arina kore and Akoya ibi
Thank you for your attention.
ODUA a gbe wa o .
God bless you ”
However, some group of people as asked the founder or those behind the initiative of Oodua Magazine especially to make a Yoruba version so it can help our culture and ability to read and write Yoruba as a subject.