Hooked on to diplomatic policies based on discourses of African countries in terms of “The Coming Anarchy”, “ungoverned space” or “The Pentagon’s New Map”, the United States and other great powers have been told to resist any temptation of manipulating and supporting division along ethnic nationalities in the country. “We do not want war; we do not want you to support division along tribal lines through sales of ammunitions. We want you to support our teeming youths to be employed, not war or division. We need you to enable us to grow, not divided. We do not want war or intrusion but the development of our youths. Coordinate the West together to ensure that lives are better in Africa and entire world” the top Nigerian traditional ruler told the American Ambassador to Nigeria, …and his delegtion who undertook elaborate tour of the ancient city of Ile-Ife believed to be the cradle of the Yoruba nationality.
In what appears to be the most revealing and categorical position of the hierarchy of traditional rulers in the current phase of the politics of the national question in Nigeria, the Ooni said Western powers should not get entangled in any moves that could accentuate division in Nigeria, declaring that what Nigeria needs is investment in the development of Nigerian youths in relation to promotion of peace and unity. The Ooni, therefore, warned against putting developing countries at disadvantage, asking great powers from the Western world to see the development of Nigeria as a requirement for the development of the world.
Speaking almost at the same time that Georges Nzongola Ntalaja, the US based Congolese Professor of African and African-American Studies warned against thinking that Africans are stupid because of their under-development, the Ooni of Ife told his American visitors that Ile-Ife is where all other human beings originated because, according to him, “Every human being in the world emanates from one mother recently researched by the Europe to have hailed from the tropical Africa which has its origin from Ile-Ife.
The monarch also said his claim has the backing of historical evidences and recent research reports, urging his visitors to come to terms with Ife as the centre of the world, “where everything all began”. Still speaking on Ile-Ife, the Ooni said, “if you move around the entire hemisphere, you will realise that this is the zero ground and hour” This, he said, made the segregation of people of black origin untenable, challenging the Western World to engage in objective research on this.
“A recent research has also shown that the DNA which is uniquely traced to the occupants of this place is reflective on the all human beings regardless of skin colour. This DNA is the longest strand in the history of human existence around the world”, the Ooni stated, appealing that the world, especially those he called ‘our brothers from Africa in America and all over the world’ be made to know what he called the “truth about their origin”, relating this to the major problem of the world as the problem of identity.
Pushing the argument further, the top traditional ruler dismissed the racist joke that black men were apes or monkeys. Rather, they are a part of the entire world. “Just like every human being, our blood is red. We are not lesser human beings, we experience the same thing every human experience. We are all one and the same, the Ooni argued his case. He rested his assuredness in the results of independent Mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) and those of Maternal Ancestry Testing and Maternity Family Tree DNA several researchers have done, all of which he said bears him out. Rounding up his intervention, he said “We should therefore live in peace and extend our hands of fellowship to one another. We should preach peace regardless of our endowment. We should eliminate the problem of identity to move the world forward because we are just one family”
Notwithstanding his direct approach, the Monarch was most animated with the visit, declaring how elated and excited he was to see the American Ambassador, pointing out how he could feel the genuiness of his visitor’s passion for Nigeria and the entire black race. “I can see that you have good prospect for this nation. I have also watched with keen interest the role you are playing in the development of Nigeria”, Oba Ogunwusi told Stuart Symington.
Ambassador Symington had explained his visit to the Ooni’s Palace as part of his journey to understand Nigeria deeper, Ife being the source, according to him, asserting that the Ooni’s several speeches and actions had made him a major rallying point for peace, unity and development not only in Nigeria but also in Africa. Describing Ooni as a significant African personality for the development of Nigeria, the ambassador told the Monarch that he represented what Nigeria is, has been and can be “with your extra-ordinary brilliance, not only in faith and trust but also in your leadership role. I am reminded how faith and trust should be commonly found in every part of the world”. The Ambassador restated America’s support for the development of Nigeria.