I am delighted to stand before you today, on this special occasion of the 2019 edition of the OPU Europe Summit, tagged: “Zurich 2019.”
Let me first of all appreciate the efforts of all members of the committee of this great event for putting up this lofty gathering.
Today, we are in Zurich and the good thing is that we have come a long way in ensuring that we keep faith with the vision of this organization.
By 2021, OPU will be 10 and the journey, till the present moment, has been of a pleasant experience.
It is not as if we don’t have issues, but one of the things that truly defines our fate as a group is our ability to come out even stronger and stronger than we can imagine.
I must confess openly that since its inception in 2011, OPU is moving from glory to glory. We are very much united as a people and our focus at all times is to be a strong voice for the Yoruba race.
At the moment, OPU represents the voice of our race in the Diaspora, and inasmuch as we are focused on our ideals and ideologies, I think we still have a lot to achieve as a group.
From the outset, OPU has set for itself lofty dreams of promoting our cultural identities and heritage. The group has set for itself an enduring legacy of transformation.
It is on this note that I feel very much happy in the way we co-ordinate our activities. With 87 chapters across the world, OPU has a great prospect in ensuring that the Yoruba nation takes its pride of place across the world. Our desire to set the pace for the coming generations requires great sacrifice. And as I always say, we have the capacity to make things happen for our race.
As I have said during the last African Summit that the OPU’s odyssey is never a journey but a destination. It does not matter when we started the journey, it does not matter where we are at the present moment, but what seems very important, and that even matters most to me is the future we look forward to.
And by the special grace of God, I know we surely look forward to a bright and rewarding future.
As a race, we have our challenges, but as they say, the best that could happen to any generation is to learn from the mistakes of the past and begin a new journey to greatness.
For instance, at 59, Nigeria, like every other countries in the world, has pockets of issues begging for solutions. But, in my view, we also have the huge potentials, waiting patiently to be explored.
That is why I am imploring all members of the OPU scattered across the world to interact and integrate with other citizens of the world. By this, we can share the best experience with them. Our coming together can always take the country out of the quagmire.
As far as I am concerned, moving forward is never an easy task, it is never a day’s job, but nevertheless, we must begin to see ourselves as ambassadors of our great race. We must begin to identify with what is truly ours.
We all have a stake in the Nigerian project because whatever happens to the Yoruba nation affects us, and whatever happens to Nigeria will definitely affect Africans and the world at large. Therefore, as the global convener of this noble group, my job is primarily to set the pace, as we continually promote and propagate the activities of our group.
Considering my long years of experience in the struggle to liberate the Yoruba nation, I want to assure you that there is a future ahead of us. It all depends on our efforts.
Interestingly, from what I have seen so far, I make bold as to say that what members of our group will gain from this kind of gathering will be an enduring legacy that would not only stand the test of time, but one that would be remarkably different and which would remain a reference point for a very long time.
And finally, let me use this opportunity to urge you all that next year’s “World Congress” offers great opportunity for every member of the OPU to integrate and get the best out of the annual gathering.
Ekiti 2020 is three months away, therefore, you should all bring your friends, bring investors, let Nigeria feel your impacts. Nigerians are expecting the best from us. We want Ekiti 2020 to be memorable. It is when you bring your friends, business associates and investors that they can know, understand and appreciate the peculiar nature of the Yoruba people in Nigeria.
With the level of preparations and commitment of all members of the planning committee of the 2019 OPU Europe Summit, it is, therefore, not out of place to say that our Zurich experience is wonderful, and I say it without an iota of doubt that the memories of this great event will definitely linger on in our minds for a very long time.
Thanks for listening and God bless you all
. Being text of a speech delivered by the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland and the Global Convener of Oodua Progressive Union, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, at the 2019 edition of the Europe Summit held on October 5, 2019 in Zurich, Switzerland.