Leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, has disclosed that there are over 250 million Yorubas living outside the shores of Nigeria.
Adams made this revelation during the launch of the Oodua Progressive Union, OPU, in Uganda recently.
The OPC leader, during his speech, explained that the OPU is a universal platform that seeks to unite Yorubas spread across the globe under one umbrella.
According to him, the OPU has the mission and mandate to bring together all “Yorubas in diaspora to come under one common identity to further project our race, our culture, tradition and seek to proffer solutions to various challenges confronting us as a race.”
“It will interest you to know that the number of Yorubas living in Nigeria is about 50 million while it was gathered that Yorubas spread across the globe outside Nigeria is well over 250 million,” he said.
“The simple logic here is that while the Yorubas at home are divided based on religious and political interests, those of you abroad can influence those at home by coming together under a global platform to set the agenda for a progressive Yoruba race with a common goal and mission.
“Top and world acclaimed races like the Jews, Arabs, Indians, Isrealis, Chinesse, among others have history of common identity brought together by their indigenes who are based outside their race. If history can be fair on these now seen great tribes, the time has come for a united Yoruba race brought together by a common heritage, identity and mission.
“As we launch the OPU chapter of Uganda today, I implore you all to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria and Yoruba in Uganda,it will be nice for you to grow with the growing economy of Uganda, tap into the tourist potentials of the country and most importantly, be law abiding citizens.
“One of the exceptional way to show gratitude to your host community is to identify with what they believe, don’t fault their way of life, don’t mock their culture and above all respect their warm reception towards you without losing track of your own culture and tradition including your language.
“The peaceful co-existence between Yorubas and other tribes will further boost their attitude towards Nigerians, we really need to love one another and while embracing love, we should not cover criminals in our midst that may tarnish our race and indeed our country.
“It is very pleasing to hear that the Government of Uganda is very accommodating towards Nigerians in Uganda based on the long standing relationship and support established by a prominent Yoruba son, late MKO Abiola whose anniversary our sister body Oodua Peoples Congress will be remembering with a lecture on June 12, 2016. We should do everything between our power to protect this relationship and make sure we further build on it based on our Omoluwabi and Alajobi principles.
“As I welcome you to the global platform of Oodua Progressive Union, I also which to remind you that home is best, in all you do, don’t forget your origin and your heritage”
Another prominent speaker at the event was the President of the Nigeria Community in Uganda, Eng. Kunle Aransiola, who expressed his joy to have been part of history considering his critical nature.
He stated that the mission statement of OPU shows that the body has a vision and with the exemplary leadership quality of Otunba Adams, he is convinced that the association will further boost the morale and rating of Yorubas across the globe.
The Zaaki of Arigidi-Akoko, HRM, Oba Yisa Olanipekun appealed to Yorubas to support the OPU mission and come together as one to further unite the race.
The presentation of staff of office was witnessed by the pioneer members of OPU Uganda, representatives of the Nigeria Community in Uganda, Mike Okrika, speaker of the Igbo community in Uganda and CEO, Abuja Restaurant Kampala, Pastor Job Inawole, Mr Emmanuel Onuoha among other dignitaries.