By Bankole Adeshina
Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Egbe Isokan Youba Tooto (Genuine United Yoruba Group), has warned that the continuous neglect of the race’s cultural virtues as a result of civilisation may soon spell doom for the race.
The group regret that unlike in the past, parents and guardians have now embraced foreign cultures as the most acceptable norms and practices in their homes and refused to teach their wards their tribe’s moral virtues and principles.
Speaking at a special meeting and presentation of gift items to some winners of its radio quiz programme in Lagos, the culture advocacy group said originally, culture dictated that responsible parents teach their children the Omoluabi virtues right from childhood, adding that such was to guide them into becoming good men and women in later years.
Pastor Philip Akinwande chaired the event while the President of Isolo Estate Resident Association, Alhaji Ridwan Suewu, was Special Guest of Honour.
The National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Adeyemi Okanrende, told WESTERN POST that the fundamentals of the Omoluabi virtues emphasise the culture of respect, truthfulness, fairness, honesty, tolerance, diligence, perseverance and brotherhood among all and sundry.
Okanrende said: “History has it that the Yoruba people are not culturally known to be disrespecting, stealing, prostituting, cheating, gambling or engaging in pornography among other immoralities. Yoruba don’t involve in ritual killings too. That is not who we are. We are leading ambassadors of morals and the great imbibers and preachers of the Omoluabi virtues.
“We respect the elders and the rights of others, including their rights to life, association and free will. We ensure fairness and peaceful resolution in case of dispute. We are a tolerant people too and through our culture, we strengthen the bond of brotherhood and protect our brothers and sisters from internal or external humiliation.
“But unfortunately, that was then. Things have since fallen apart, to borrow a line from the great literary icon, Professor Chinua Achebe. We are no longer united. Our cultural heritages are no longer our strength and tool to foster sense of unity among ourselves. Foreign culture and tradition have been used to destabilise us. And the earlier we realise this, the quicker we may respond to the looming doom on our race”.
Also speaking with WESTERN POST at the event, the Deputy National Coordinator and Chairman, Lagos Branch of the group, Alhaji Asimiyu Apata, said his group had already begun aggressive campaigns to rescue Yoruba language and its other beautiful norms from the brink of extinction.
“We have begun this through a weekly awareness and sensitisation campaign on radio stations. We have also started the printing and distribution of history books on Yoruba teachings, heroes and heroines and its under-utilised intellectual capacity. We have distributed the books to our members, which cut across the country and two European countries (France and Britain) for a start. And plans are on to print large quantity for onward distribution to public schools across the region”.