A statement signed by Moses Olafare, the Director of Media and Public Affairs in the palace in Ile-Ife, Osun, said that the Ooni dedicated the statue to the economic liberation of the African youth.
Olafare said that historic unveiling event was witnessed by over 5,000 youths, adding that the Ooni extolled the virtues of “Moremi” Ajasoro, a celebrated historical heroine in Yoruba culture.
He said that the Ooni also described youths as the greatest accessories for the development of any nation, who must be given utmost attention by the various African governments.
According to him, the monarch decried the redundancy of youths, blaming it on patronage of foreign goods and services.
“These Nigerian and African youths are naturally endowed, and with the level of their education or training, they are the materials needed to develop this country and the continent of Africa.
It surprises me that our governments across Africa still encourage capital flight by always giving the jobs to foreigners at the expense of our youths, several of whom are more qualified and competent to do the jobs.
I am proud to say that this project is the first of its kind; 100 per cent indigenous; involving about 200 youths and all the materials used were sourced locally from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
I want to stress that Nigeria has manpower that can create, construct, and build standard and original goods.
I, therefore, appeal to African governments to empower youths and give them the chance to display their capacities,” Ooni Ogunwusi was quoted as saying.
The African Renaissance Monument in Dakar, Senegal is the tallest statue in Africa, standing at 161 ft, followed by the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt which stands at 66 ft.