By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos

The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has urged Yoruba sons and daughters in the diaspora, most especially members of the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU), to contribute their quota to the development of South West region.

Iba Adams, who is also the global convener of the organisation, stated this in Badagry at the weekend during the 2023 edition of the OPU World Congress that lasted for five days.

Adams said despite the obvious security challenges in the country and the harsh economic situation in the world, delegates of the diaspora organisation from the 96 countries across the six continents of the world came to Nigeria to contribute their quotas to the development and progress of Nigeria and Yorubaland in particular.

He added that the annual congress held in Badagry was the 9th edition with the previous editions held in all the six states in the South West and also in Kwara and Kogi state, which is also in the North Central of the geo-political zone.

The Yoruba generalissimo stated further that the group will continue to represent the interest of the Yoruba race with its strength and capacity as a global brand.

“Anytime we hold the OPU World Congress, our usual practice is to impact the host community and give something reasonable to the people of the host community.

This year, Badagry is our next destination and we are expanding our humanitarian services and projects with the building of boreholes to serve the need of the people. Water is life and that is why we building the borehole to serve the need of the people.

“We are also giving free health services to take care of the health needs and we are giving about 1000 bags of rice and groundnut oil to cushion the effect of hunger in the land.

“Apart from this, all the 983 delegates of the OPU that are in Badagry for this year’s congress and members of the OPC as well as the guests have injected several millions of naira into the economy of Badagry.

“What this means is that each time we hold the Congress we impact the entire community positively and we also drive the economy and business prospects of the area.

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In his remarks, the guest lecturer at the Congress, Dr Ademola Eesuola from the Department of Adult Education, University of Ibadan, urged the OPU delegates not to forget their homestead.

He added that the annual Congress is a big platform that could help Yoruba to actualise its dreams and take its pride of place.

He bemoaned the present situation in the country, saying Yoruba has a major role to play in correcting the mistakes of the present situation.

“Yoruba are always the most refined and coordinated race. However, it is our responsibility to begin to find a way of changing the narratives and bring about the right changes that can correct the wrongs of the past and better the lots of the people of our race.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the 2023 edition of the OPU World Congress, Alhaji Babatunde Otukoya expressed delight at the success of the Congres.

He said the atmosphere in Badagry had offered the serene ambience for proper development.

He appreciated all the members of the OPU, the delegates and the guests that were present at the various events held in Badagry.

I appreciate our leader and global Convener, Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams for this singular honour and I want to assure all our members that we will continue to offer our services to the Yoruba race whenever we are called upon to offer our services.

Part of the programmes held for this year’s OPU World Congress includes a royal visit to the palace of the Akran of Badagry, HRM Oba De Wheno- Aholu-Menu Toyi 1(OFR) the Congress lecture, held at the Lagos state Theatre Badagry, the dinner party also held at the Elite Hall, where popular musician, Sule Alao Malaika, entertained the guests.

Meanwhile, the official unveiling of the borehole projects located at the Badagry market was done by the global convener, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, with other prominent dignitaries including the prominent chief and representative of the Akran of Badagry, Chief Paviyour, Jagun of Oyo, Chief Ayoola Adewoye, all the Badagry Chiefs in Council, Osi Aareonakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Kayode Balogun, ambassadors of the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) and leaders of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others.