Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Neglect of Yoruba culture, reason for high crime rate —Prof Oyediran

Professor A.B.O.O. Oyediran

Tunde Ogunesan

PPRESIDENT of a socio-cultural, non-political organisation, Egbe Atunbi Yoruba, Professor Olukayode Oyediran, has ascribed the high rate in crime in the society to the neglect of cultural and traditional values of Yoruba race in the day-to-day activities of the current generation.

Professor Oyediran said this in his welcoming address to the lecture, organised by the organisation, entitled “Kootu oojiire, asa ati ise,” delivered by the ace broadcaster, Bamiji Ojo, at the National Museum of Unity, Alesinloye, Ibadan.

Egbe Atunbi Yoruba was founded to encourage Yoruba indigenes to be proud of their language and exhibit more confidence in speaking it throughout the world.

It was also established to promote the Yoruba culture to boost the good character in the upbringing of children.

Dignitaries at the event included the chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, Reverend Tola Oyediran; Yoruba poet, Chief Tubosun Oladapo; Mr Tokunbo Ajasin; Managing Director, ANN Plc, Mr Edward Dickson; Consultant/Director, ANN Plc, Dr Segun Olatunji; Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, head, Yoruba Section, NTA Ibadan, Funmi Sanwo; Dr Amos Olorunnipa, Dr Tunde Adegbola, Dr Jegede Obafemi, head, Paramount FM, Mrs Kemi Ajayi; Professor Christy Ade-Ajayi, Professor Babatunde Onadeko, Prince Adetowo Aderemi, Dr Biodun Ogidan and Dr Damola Adesina, among others.

Speaking at the event, chaired by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Professor Oyediran said it was now compulsory that Yoruba should be ready to proffer solutions to the myriad of problems confronting the race.

According to him, “I am very sure that all of us are not happy with the current situation in our community, especially with the way things are going in the country.

“Everyday, we listen and read stories about human killings, kidnappings, both young and old people, fraud and corruption, armed robbery, violence, prostitution, among others.

“Our society is now riddled with series of corrupt practices, in our schools, religious places, communities and cities. The societal ills/corruption is not limited to a particular geographical location – From North to South to East and West, everywhere is corrupt.

“It is now compulsory that we find solution to these problems, especially because of the future

“Because charity begins at home, we should start from our home fronts, Yourba region. It is when we had carefully considered all these that we discovered that the basic root of these ills in the society is because most of us Yoruba have abandoned our culture and tradition.

“Today, forthrightness is now scarce; in fact, we don’t recognise our language any longer. Several of our children can no longer speak Yoruba language fluently. Without mincing words, Yoruba need to be born again.

“It is these things that continue to give us concern and invariably made us to establish ‘Egbe Atunbi Yoruba’. It is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-religious organisation, promoting Yoruba culture,” Professor Oyediran said.

He, therefore, encouraged Yoruba sons and daughters from 18 years upward to voluntarily join the organisation.

Oba Adeyemi said it was worrisome Yoruba are losing their culture by relegating their language to the background.

“The language and culture of any land remains very important. If any land is to be defeated, its major target is its language and culture. Take away the language of any man, take away his culture, then he remains useless,” he said.

The guest lecturer, Elder Bamiji Ojo, in his lecture, entitled “Kootu Oojiire, asa ati ise,” said the children should not be blamed for their inability to speak Yoruba fluently.

He noted that the parents should, instead, be blamed because they inadvertently encouraged the children to embrace the western culture.

“Unfortunately, Yoruba people do not understand their culture, food, tradition and respect themselves any longer, because they have forgotten where they are coming from,” he said.

He urged the organisation to take the campaign beyond the walls of the seminar rooms, but instead engaged schools, markets, palaces and broadcasters to address the menace.

“It is high time this message went out to the entire Yoruba sectors. From schools to the markets, palaces, broadcasting houses to ensure that the message is well coded.

“We have a duty and call to save the situation if we really understand the damage we have done to ourselves.

“Yoruba is not going into extinction but changing face,” he said

Also speaking, former Editor-in-Chief ANN Plc, Mr Felix Adenaike, said Yoruba race must be serious about its language, because the United States of America and other countries are investing in the language and culture for the security of their territories, not because they loved the language.