The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, has advised Nigeria’s Ambassador Designate to Jamaica, Belize, Haiti and Dominican Republic, Dr. Maureen Tamuno, to help reunite people of black descent scattered across the Caribbean with their kinsmen in Nigeria.
Oba Ogunwusi made the admonition at his Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife while playing host to Maureen who was on a courtesy visit on Thursday.
He said that Nigerians, particularly the Yoruba race, have a lot in common with those in the Caribbean, as most of them were transported to that part of the world during the days of slavery after which they naturalised to become citizens of those countries.
According to him, “Our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean need us so much just as we need them too. Asking them back does not necessarily mean they should leave the Caribbean and start living with us permanently but there are lots of things we can do together in terms of trade and cultural exchange.”
“While considering these responsibilities, I am happy to know that our good daughter, the ambassador, is a cultured scholar who is prepared to do us proud. She understands the terrain and I am sure about her ability to perform optimally”, he added.
Earlier in her address, the Ambassador Designate revealed that her courtesy visit was beyond being ceremonial but a channel to further have first-hand information about the prestigious Yoruba culture.
“What I am seeing here is so massive and I am so overwhelmed by the display of culture. The only time I saw something like this was on television and I am impressed to find out that they exist in real life here in Ile-Ife, the source of mankind.
“One of the challenges in our quest to unite Nigerians with those in the Caribbean is the unavailability of direct flight, we had to go through some countries which is unusually stressful and expensive. However, I am glad to inform you that the impediment has been removed as we now have direct flights from here to that part of the world.
“We already have Nigerians doing well in the Caribbean, in fact the Nigerian-Jamaican president is a Yoruba man and a host of others”, Dr. Maureen stated.