The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has revealed that Lagos was founded in the 15th century by a prince of Ile Ife named Olofin Ogunfunminire in company of his wife, Yeyelofin Olomu.
The monarch spoke on Saturday in Lagos at the 3rd festival colloquium of the 50th anniversary of Lagos State with the theme: “Tourism Potential in Yorubaland: Landmarks, Culture and History.”
A movie titled: “Eko: Iwure Olofin,” (The Blessing Of Lagos) which tells the story of how Lagos was founded, was premiered at the event.
The movie captures the life and times of OLOFIN, the founder of Lagos. It is the first of a trilogy comprising “EKO: The Reign of the OBAS” (on the life and times of all Lagos Obas); and, “EKO: Governments in POWER.”
It narrates how a brave Ile-Ife Prince left his ancestral home in pursuit of fame, honour and glory as was the common practice then. OLOFIN was told by the diviner Adifala to leave Ile-Ife with his wife and follow a calabash on a river journey.
He was instructed to settle in the land surrounding the river where the Calabash sank. This all important narrative is better seen than heard.
It was all excitement at the Muson Centre, venue of the event when the Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi made his entry.
With a retinue of praise singers, hangers, well wishers as well as journalists, the African number one monarch had a hectic time making it to the podium.
At the event, the Ooni of Ife urged the relevant stakeholders in public and private sectors to salvage the nation’s culture and tradition from extinction.
Ooni Ogunwusi said culture, tradition and tourism were tools for fostering development, eradicating poverty and emancipating the down trodden in the society.
He said: “Culture and tradition bound us more than religion and it is important that we keep them for our heritage to be known and told.
“Gradually, we are losing the values of these culture and tradition because they have been misconstrued in so many ways.
“Contrary to many assumptions, traditionalists and our fore fathers are not idol worshippers.
“Traditionalists give glory, honour and adoration to God the Almighty which the Yorubas call ‘Olodumare’.
“Olodumare is the Supreme Being and we have the lesser gods who are messengers, Angels of the almighty.
“These facts should be told to our upcoming generation.”
The monarch commended the organizers of “Lagos at 50” for bringing culture, traditions and the heritage if the Yorubas alive.
The Ooni said that in spite of its cosmopolitan status, “Lagos is a custodian of culture and tradition of the Yoruba race”.
Ooni also gave all the glory to the Almighty God while noting that though Africa is tagged idol worshipers, ‘we are no idol worshipers’.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has commended the Lagos State government for organising the Festival Colloquium which is in its third phase,and taking place at the Muson Centre at the moment.
The Minister made this remark as he arrived the Shell Hall of the Muson Centre, venue of the Festival Colloquium, while addressing journalists.
He noted that the Festival is in line with the Federal Government’s idea of culture promotion.