The Grand Council of Yoruba Youths on Wednesday celebrated the Yoruba national day and the 134th anniversary of the end of Kiriji war.
A statement signed by the President General of Grand Council of Yoruba Youths, Comrade Awa Bamiji, said it has become the group’s tradition to organise Yoruba Youth Leadership Summit to discuss various topical issues as well as to honour and celebrate the role models within and outside Yorubaland for their unique contributions to the development of the Yoruba nation with beautifully carved Ori Odu’a (Ori Olokun) Award during the annual lecture.
He said some of the annual activities to mark the event every year include debates for secondary schools in the South West region, art exhibition, interactive session, cultural dance competition, fashion parade, Yoruba quiz competition, Ijala, Ewi, ekun iyawo, ludo game and other cultural activities to “revive our cultural heritage.”
Awa, who went down memory lane on events that led to the Kiriji war, said the end of the war on September 23, 1886 marked the beginning of the unification of Yorubaland as one united tribe through the signing of the “peace accord among the warring factions in the presence of the British colonialists.”
“Therefore, September 23 was adopted as Yoruba national day by a well attended Yoruba Congress at Cultural Center, Ibadan,” he added.
According to Awa, the celebration have always been a gathering of Yoruba elders, youths, and student organisation as well as notable friends of Yoruba from other regions since the event started at both the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, and Cultural Centre, Ibadan in 2001, adding that the celebration is always a week-long event.
Some of the past awardees include Chief Bisi Akande; Lt. Gen Alani Akinrinade (Rtd); Chief Niyi Akintola( SAN) while posthumous awards had been bestowed on Chief Obafemi Awolowo; Chief Adekunle Ajasin; Senator Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige and Alhaji Lam Adesina.
Awa, however, said the group decided to celebrate this year’s event with a press release only, in order to keep to the COVID-19 protocols recommended by the Federal and State Governments.
“We wish all Yoruba sons and daughters, home and abroad, happy celebration. Odu’a a gbe wa o!,” he said.