The foremost tradition ruler in Lagos State, Oba Rilwan Akiolu yesterday endorsed the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to contest for second term in office, saying he believes Ambode would be returned.
Akiolu made this endorsement while making his remark at a Yoruba Language Summit at Academy Inn, Agidingbi Ikeja, organized by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The Summit which was meant to chart a way forward on the necessity to address the need to speak Yoruba language, was attended by Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, Ooni of Ife, Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, politicians, members of Yoruba Nollywood such Adebayo Salami- Oga Bello, Jide Kosoko, Kareem Adepoju- Babawande among others.
His Royal Majesty, Akiolu shortly before taking his leave, noted that during the last 2015 general elections, some people had doubted the possibility of Ambode to emerge the Lagos Governor, adding that “those set of doubting thomases have been proved wrong.”
“Let me assure our Governor that he shall reign for 8 years because he is God chosen. Ambode’s performance within one year has convinced me that he is capable to direct the affairs of Lagos,” Akiolu said.
While commending Alaafin and Ooni for gracing the occasion, Akiolu advised the latter to be wary of mischief makers who might want to instigate trouble, saying “you don’t have to be deceived, Alaafin is the paramount leader in Yorubaland.”
The traditional ruler prayed for the President, Muhammadu Buhari, saying there were disgruntled elements in the country who were bent on re-trogressing the efforts of the president to pilot the State to liberate the country from the woods.
In his address, Ooni of Ife said, “Since when I was four years old I have been going into research not knowing that I would become the king. It is impossible to go into deep about Yoruba without making sound reference to Alaafin.
Ogunwusi identified misunderstanding as being responsible for the set back, adding however “our leaders have resolved to forge ahead and put aside any divisive tendencies.
“It is this misunderstanding that that detered us from taking cognisance of our culture and traditions. We are leaders; we should take that leadership role very serious,” Ogunwusi said.
Alaafin assured the Yorubas to foster unity among the tribe. He added that “whenever he makes any public speech, he will always speak in Yoruba to show good example.”
Earlier, the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented by his deputy, Idiat Adebule stated that the leadership of Lagos House has taken another bold step to develop and sustain the speaking of Yoruba language in both public and private schools in the State.
Ambode gave assurance to assent to the proposed Bill by the State House of Assembly on the compulsory teaching of Yoruba in private and public schools, saying “it is an assured way at ensuring that speaking of Yoruba language does not become extinct.”
While condemning the failure of parents to speak Yoruba to their children, Ambode stated that children are expected to learn their mother tongue to imbibe the spirit of bond of sound traditional beliefs.
In his welcome address, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa pointed out that Lagos Assembly considered the Summit necessary as a prelude before coming up with a Bill to address the challenge on the speaking of Yoruba in order to get enough facts from the stakeholders.
Obasa added that the House deliberately chose every Thursday to speak Yoruba during plenary in an effort to promote the speaking of the language.
In his lecture, Prof Akinwunmi Ishola also commended the Lagos Assembly for taken the initiative to fashion out way to make teaching and speaking of Yoruba essential in the State.
The erudite scholar identified a number problems that have characterized speaking of Yoruba, saying however efforts should be geared toward addressing the problem.
While calling on parents to disregard the sole speaking of English language to their children, Ishola urged the traditional rulers to stop addressing expatriates in English language.
He stressed that whenever any of the traditional ruler pays host to Yoruba non-speaking visitors, they should use the service of interpreters to demonstrate to others why the speaking of Yoruba would help in promoting rich culture inherent in the language.