The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi says Nigeria has the best purified gold and gem stones in the world that can change the economic and social narratives of the country.
Oba Ogunwusi spoke during the official unveiling of the Oduduwa Heritage Mobile Museum, late hours of Saturday, at the Brazilian Embassy in Lagos.
The occasion reports that the launching was in conjunction with the Brazilian government and coincided with the 197th independence anniversary of Brazil on September 7, 1822.
“Today is a great honour for our country and Brazil, what we are doing is a very strong strategic alliance with the kingdom of Ife.
” It is basically to showcase our ancestral treasures and our root, we need to tell our stories ourselves because nobody can tell it for us,” he said.
According to the monarch, our motive is to tell the world of Nigeria and what stuff we’re made of; It’s a shame that we have so much treasure, yet, we’re in abject poverty.
The monarch then urged Nigerians to wake up from their slumbers, instead of crying over spoil milk.
” It is a fact that Nigeria has the most purified gold in the world, yet our central Bank doesn’t have gold bars hundred per cent.
” People take our gold outside, refine it and bring back for us to buy at an exorbitant price.
“We also have the best gem stones in the world, which moves from southwest to Northern Nigeria, no country that can beat us in terms of colours, even Congo,” he said.
Oba Ogunwusi decried the problem of taking these treasures out of the country for others to benefit which never added value to her citizens.
According to the monarch, people will dig it, discover it and these people will buy it for just 10 dollars and when they had processed it, they’ll return it to us for Ten thousand dollars.
“The annoying thing is that when they are returned, they will no longer bear the identity of our country but a foreign one and our people begin to value it more,” he said.
Ojaja II noted that most of these countries depended on Nigeria for these treasures; yet, they blossomed with what they tapped from our country .
” We are trying to wake up to admiring and possessing our treasures, we have discovered and processed these monuments ourselves, non was done outside Nigeria.
“We are trying to tell ourselves that we can truly discover, process, polish and facet our treasures ourselves, to add value to the Nigerian youths.
” This can be done by setting up so many industries that can do this job and also occupy the youths,” he said.
According to the cultural promoter, the entire population of Brazil is over 200 million, and the population of Yoruba’s in Brazil is close to 100 million.
He said that this had made the Brazilian government appreciate the importance of the Yoruba heritage, which was why the synergy came about.
“This priceless museum project, which has taken several years to gather, will be strongly routed in Brazil and Cuba, because of the strong alliance with the Oduduwa people.
” It is meant to change our narratives, and perspectives across the world with our mission of moving it around the world beginning with over 30 countries.
” These monuments and antiquities, over a thousand in number, some are over six thousand years ago but we have been able to display only 63 to 70 out of the over thousand.
” We want to change our narratives socially, culturally, economically and otherwise, ” he said.
The Royal father said that the project, which would tour to over 30 countries, would begin from Nigeria
” We’re starting from Nigeria, charity begins from home, we’ll be having strong alliance with companies and financial institutions because it is a very capital intensive project.
” We need to partner with some companies that have an insurance policy that will secure our treasures because of the worth,” he said.
Also speaking, the Brazilian consulate thanked Nigeria for giving his country the honour of showcasing African heritage for the Africans.
“It is a great honour to celebrate our country’s independence in alliance with a great cultural heritage as this Oduduwa Heritage Mobile Museum project.
” Everybody in Brazil is familiar with Yoruba people and their culture, some of us even speak the language, the Ooni has been to Brazil and acknowledged this.
“This project is Africa, showcasing the Africans,” he said.
The ceremony witnessed a tour to the different sites of the monuments and artifacts on display by the royal father in company of diplomats, royal fathers and Nollywood stars.