The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, says the loss of culture, values and tradition is responsible for the numerous challenges facing Africa as a continent.
Ogunwusi said this while delivering the 2015/2016 annual lecture of the School of Postgraduate Studies of the University of Lagos, on Thursday.
The theme of the lecture is: “Redefining the Role of Traditional Institutions for National Development”.
According to him, African culture and tradition is gradually giving way to westernization in several aspects. He said that this, to a large extent, had impacted negatively on the people’s way of life.
He explained that most of the things borrowed from the western culture had confused the thinking and way of life of Africans.
“There is nothing wrong borrowing from another. But the truth is that such things that are borrowed need to be properly aligned and harmonized in such a way that it will not affect our own way of life.
Before the colonial masters came, they met our culture, tradition and kingship system; the way our affairs were being directed.
By that time, there were no boundaries and yet kingdoms and territories were secured and we all had respect for one another,” he said.
The monarch said Africa was and still remained the centre of the world and therefore, must strive to trace and reclaim its lost tradition, values as well as culture and retain them.
According to him, another challenge facing Africans is that they do not appreciate what they have.
Ogunwusi explained that for the black race to sustain their worth among mankind, they must look inwards, believe in themselves as well as redirect their orientation.
“Any stream that forgets its source must surely run dry. It is only proper for us to know where we are coming from, in order for us to be able to determine where we are going to.
I have been asking questions on what is fundamentally wrong with the black race. We have everything but do not put it to good use.
Brothers are killing their own brothers and sisters doing the same. Our forefathers have bequeathed so many traditional legacies to make life easy for us. Let us put them to good use,” he added.
The monarch urged traditional rulers as custodians of culture, to rise up to their responsibilities in safeguarding those cultural heritage that bound the people.
He noted that the traditional institutions were closer to the people and therefore, must also strive to work closer with the political leaders in improving the lives of the people.
According to him, both the traditional rulers and the politicians ought to lead exemplary lives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the occasion was the launch of the institution’s Postgraduate Trust Fund.
The vice-chancellor, Professor Rahamon Bello said that the launching was aimed at providing special funding for academic and research programmes geared towards producing a high level manpower for the country and the world.
Meanwhile, the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Professor Solomon Akinboye, had earlier said that the fund would be used to assist indigent students who were desirous of engaging in research which could be carried out within or outside the country.
Photo Credit: Instagram – @Ooniadimulaife