By Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo
Yoruba traditional rulers on Tuesday in Osogbo commended the unique Yoruba alphabets, saying that it will further entrench Yoruba culture and protect it from encroachment from Western culture and the negative influences of modernity.
The monarchs gave the commendation while paying an advocacy visit to Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on the institutionalization, teaching and learning of the newly discovered Yoruba alphabets.
The alphabets were invented by Chief Toluwalese Oguntosin, who was also present at the occasion.
Chief Oguntosin, whose invention was demonstrated during the meeting, revealed that he was divinely inspired to come up with the alphabetsbthat were fundamentally different from the English alphabets.
The traditional rulers, led by Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom, ObabAbdulMoroof Mogbagbeola, included Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ajase Port-Novo in Republic of Benin; Oba Abdul-Yekeen Ajasa Adeleye, Owa-Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Adewole, Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti, Oba Adegoke Adeyemi and Olugbon of Igbon, Oba Francis Olu Alao.
In their separate remarks, Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ajase Port-Novo in Republic of Benin, Owa-Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti and Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti, expressed their supports for the institutionalisation, teaching and learning of the new alphabets, saying if sustained, the initiative will go a long way to reconnecting the Yorubas all over the world.
In his words, Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ajase Port-Novo said the purpose of the visit was to intimate the Governor with the need to support the promotion of the new alphabet, which according to him will give the Yoruba people their deserved identity.
The monarch said “We are here to advocate the need for us as Yoruba, both at home and in the Diaspora, particularly we that fall to other countries, on the need to support the promotion, teaching and learning of the newly discovered alphabets.
The traditional rulers also hailed Governor Aregbesola for being committed to the promotion and advancement of African culture, tradition and values, particularly Yoruba language.
They described Aregbesola as a symbol of African culture whose personality and influence had been used to promote indigenous culture,
norms and customs.
They commended him for taking the lead in repositioning African tradition and culture to its rightful position.
“We chose to visit Mr Governor not because of other things but because of his love and passion for the development of African culture, particularly anything that concerns the Yoruba people.
“We have seen the role you have been playing at fostering unity, peace and togetherness among the Yoruba. To us, this is commendable and outstanding and it is on this note that we are flagging-off the campaign and advocacy of the newly invented alphabets, which henceforth will be used for teaching and learning in public schools.
“It is our collective belief that the learning of these alphabets will give us our true identity, foster unity, distinguish us and reunite us as a nation,” Onikoyi added.
Also, the Olugbon of Igbon, and Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom, said the new alphabets will serve as a strong mechanism to strengthen unity among Yoruba.
Speaking on the way to accomplish the teaching and learning of the new alphabet, the duo said a steering committee will be constituted to actualize the motive.
In his response, Governor Aregbesola commended the traditional rulers, urging them to complement the efforts by taking the teaching and learning of the alphabets to their various domains.
He expressed his administration’s support for the promotion of the new alphabets, saying “This will serve as a means of engendering unity among the Yoruba.”