I am a proud Yoruba man, nothing could change that. God has blessed my race as one of the leading races in the world.
Profound Yoruba cultural values, intellect and hospitality are things of pride for my race and I strongly believe that it pleases God to make Yorubaland the land of splendour and abundance.
We have our history, so no part of Yoruba land is a “no man’s land”.
From Ile Ife, Osun state which is the cradle of Yoruba race and the town of the Oonirisa, the King of all kings, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II to Oyo, the ancient town of the Alaafin Oranmiyan, the progenitor of the late Alaafin Oba Lamidi Adeyemi to Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Kwara, Kogi and even the city of Lagos are our heritages.
Therefore, nobody should take the Yoruba’s accommodating spirit and hospitality for granted.
I am the son of the soil. The great son and descendant of Oduduwa, the progenitor of my race. I am not a bastard, I am proud of my heritage, culture and tradition.
My language is unique with great idioms and anecdotal evidence of greatness. Many of my ancestors and forebears are philosophers and their enduring words of wisdom still remain evergreen till date.
Yoruba language, culture, heritage and traditions spread beyond the shores of Nigeria.
I have no doubt in my mind that Yoruba language will soon become a globally accepted language. It has started with the Brazil experience.
In science and technology, Yoruba are wonderful. In sports, we are exceptional. In arts and music we are simply exceptional.
In education, commerce, politics, religion, arts and in all disciplines, the Yoruba are far, far ahead of others.
So, when the Chairman of the Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, described the Yoruba as political rascals, there is the need for us-the Yoruba to tell him that we are people of great history and antecedents.
As the most cultured race, there is no need for war. It is our duty to let the Ohanaeze chieftain know and understand the beauty of Yoruba race.
Chief Iwuanyanwu fired the first salvo at the weekend when he spoke at an event to mark the first anniversary of Prof. Charles Soludo as Anambra State Governor.
The event took place on Saturday at the International conference Centre in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
Though, Chief Iwuanyanwu had denied the trending story in a statement released yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr. Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, he needs to be told that he was so mean in thoughts that he could not see the bigger picture of what makes the Yoruba the greatest of all the races.
He needs to be told that the Yoruba are a unique race that is blessed with great people from all walks of life.
Let me remind Chief Iwuanyanwu that he can only appreciate the Yoruba by understanding the beauty of the race as bestowed on us by the most high God.
Understanding the Yoruba is easy, but appreciating the nuances takes years, especially, for someone like him who never appreciates what is good.
But let me remind the Ohanaeze chieftain that Yoruba are a very cultured people with pride.
We cherish our background and history. We love unity and we are very accommodating.
That is why we are always the pride of the nation.
The Yoruba are well endowed, I am proud to tell whoever that cares to listen that I am of the same blood with the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was the Premier of the Western region.
He was a great pathfinder of the Yoruba and one of the most revered Yoruba sons.
Awo’s life was a reflection of the sanctity of Yoruba race. He was the leader of all leaders and model for leadership. I am a Yoruba and I have my root in the ancient town of Ile Ife.
Nigeria’s history is incomplete if we fail to appreciate the role of the great nationalist, who was one of the founding fathers and advocates of Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
I am a Yoruba man. By virtue of my history and tradition, the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was my hero.
The late Chief MKO Abiola was a product of my race. He was a man
of many parts. Abiola was the 14th Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land and the soul of generosity.
He was a blessing to humanity. And he was always ready to help and extend his hands of generosity to people of other ethnic nationalities.
In his life,the late MKO Abiola was a business mogul that would not discriminate. He was the symbol of this democracy. The late Abiola died and paid the supreme price for us to have this democracy.
Abiola’s greatness is beyond tribe or colour. He was a complete gentle man and nationalist. In the heat of the 1993 election, Abiola was told to jettison his mandate and regain his freedom and go back home to enjoy his affluent life, but he rejected the offer and insisted that the mandate given to him through the ballot was the mandate of the mass of the people and he would not leave the electorate in the lurch.
That is the spirit of the Yoruba. The Yoruba will always stand by you, no matter the circumstances. We are no cowards. We are part of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence.
I am a Yoruba man from the same clan with the late erudite lawyer and rights activist, Chief Gani Oyesola Faweyimmi.
Gani Faweyimmi’s life was a symbol of courage and justice for all. He was the Senior Advocate of the Masses (SAM)
There were times when the late Fawehinmi risked his life to fight the establishment.
He stood firm and refused to join the bandwagon to be on the side of the mass of the people.
Faweyinmi’s principled life style stood him out as a man of honour and reverence. He was a Yoruba man and memories of his exemplary life are still fresh in our memories.
I am a Yoruba man like the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The late Fela was a courageous Afrobeat music maestro. Very brave and with a heart of a lion. Fela would never fail to tell the truth to power.
I am a Yoruba man and I am proud to have the same origin with the late Dr.Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. The Fuji creator and the voice of the voiceless. Barrister died a hero using his Fuji music to correct the ills of the Nigerian society.
I am a Yoruba and I am the proud son of the late Hubert Ogunde, the Doyen of Theatre and the model for the traditional culture.
Ogunde was the first to spread the gospel of theatre to the world.
I am a Yoruba man, the great son of Oduduwa and the brother to the late football legend, the late Rashidi Yekinni, the former African Footballer of the Year and the greatest Nigerian goal scorer of all time.
I am a Yoruba man and I am proud to identify with the legendary Tobi Amusan the Nigerian Olympic gold medalist.
I am a Yoruba man, the descendant of Oduduwa and son of the Nobel Laureate and playwright, Prof.Wole Soyinka.The literary Icon.
I am a Yoruba man and the son of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Here is a Yoruba man that God has used to spread the gospel of Christianity to the world.
I am a Yoruba man, the race of eminent Islamic clerics like the late Sheikh Adam Al-Ilori, Sheikh Awal, Sheikh Robiu Adebayo, Sheikh Muideen Bello and a host of others.
I am a brother to the boxing legend, Anthony Joshua, the Muhammad Ali of Yoruba land.
I am Yoruba man, the proud son of the 15th Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams who has championed the true cause of Yoruba race for more than three decades.
Like his predecessor, the late MKO Abiola, Adams has been promoting the cause of our race across 96 countries in the six continents of the world. This is no small feat.
Aare Gani Adams is a product of the struggle for this democracy and he is always ready to defend the interest of my race.
I am a Yoruba man, the same clan with the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Emilokan of Nigeria and Kingmaker that actually becomes King.
I am a Yoruba man, the son of Oduduwa like the late business mogul, Alhaji Iyanda Wahab Folawiyo, great entrepreneur, Alhaji Rasaq Okoya, Oba Otudeko, Femi Otedola, Otunba Mike Adenuga and a host of other great men that have made indelible mark in Nigeria and the global communities.
So, let me remind Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu that I am a Yoruba man and I am no coward, we are not political rascals.
In conclusion, the Yoruba have their history and we have, on several occasions, made Nigeria proud.
So rather than responding to the barking of the wounded dog, let us keep our peace and showcase the beauty of our race.
At times, it is better to show them that we are still the most cultured race. And the spirit of Omoluabi is still ingrained in us.
Kehinde Aderemi writes from Lagos.