Chief Gani Adams, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland has said that the calamities befalling Yorubaland currently was as a result of ignorance of the richness, value and power inherent in the cultural heritage.
Adams, who spoke, at the second edition of Odo Erelu Festival held at Meiran, Lagos State, said never in the history of the South-West have the Yoruba people suffered untold hardship, insecurity, molestation of females and other ills like in recent times.
He said: “The evils that befall us in Yorubaland today came as a result of our ignorance and failure to celebrate our ancestors. It became our lots because we have abandoned our culture, tradition and heritage.”
He also lamented that even the Yoruba language, which remains a potent tool to project their culture and in which the ethos of Omolubi that differentiate Yoruba from other ethnic groups, suffers the most.
His words: “In history, the Yoruba are the most unassuming race. We are very successful with records of our best and most outstanding products in science, arts, politics, economy and literature across the world but the story is different today.”
The Yoruba leader stated further that the point still remains that the Yoruba people should go back to their roots, saying: “No evil can befall us if we appreciate and celebrate these rivers. So, I am using this opportunity to appeal to our traditional rulers to use festivals to promote cultural heritage.”
He, therefore, urged Yoruba people to understand that tradition and culture are totally different from religion, adding that the ability to sustain the festival and make it viable for global appeal and recognition lies in the hands of everybody.
Meanwhile, Adams,wondered how the naira has fallen to the global currency, pointing out that the present economic situation in the country should be addressed holistically, else Nigeria should be ready for a very tough time by 2022.
“If President Buhari fails to save the economy from collapsing before December, this year, God forbids, we should be ready for a very tough time by 2022.
“Today, the Nigerian economy is obviously in a terrible condition. The Naira is falling by the day.
For instance, British pound sterling is 700 at the moment to our naira, while the dollar is put at 578 and Euro is currently 656 at the official rate.
“Our naira continues to fall to the global currencies. And this has affected the exchange rates in the global market. The economy is obviously not stable. Prices of essential food, and commodities are on the high side,” Adams stated.
He lamented further: “A bag of rice produced here in Nigeria is put at twenty five thousand naira (25,000) presently.
Garri, which is also a very important commodity for the low income earner is no longer affordable to the people”
“Today in Nigeria, nothing is free because everything has been monetised. And corruption has taken its toll on the entire system.
Meanwhile, inflation and the current economic downturn has triggered the growing spate of insecurity across the country.
“In the past, ticket prices to Europe and Britain have increased by 300 percent. The business class and economy has also skyrocketed. For instance, economy tickets was formerly put at one hundred and thirty thousand naira only (130,000) as against the five hundred thousand naira (500,000) being paid at the moment. ”
In conclusion, he said:”… However, I believe the approach to salvage the naira and the Nigerian economy from imminent collapse is beyond rhetoric. It is very urgent and very urgent indeed. “