Notable Yoruba traditional rulers have commended the invention of unique Yoruba alphabets as a tool to entrenching the language, protecting it from the encroachment of Western culture and the negative consequences of modernity.
The monarchs gave the commendation at Osogbo, Osun State capital in Western Nigeria during an advocacy visit to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, on the institutionalization, domestication, teaching and learning of the newly invented Oduduwa alphabets.
The Oduduwa alphabets were invented by Chief Toluwalese Oguntosin, who was also at the occasion.
Oguntosin, whose invention was demonstrated during the meeting said he was divinely inspired to come up with the alphabets that were fundamentally different from the English alphabets.
The traditional rulers, led by Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom, Oba AbdulMoroof Mogbagbeola, include Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ajase, Port-Novo in the Republic of Benin, Oba Abdul-Yekeen Ajasa Adeleye, Owa-Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Adewole, Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti, Oba Adegoke Adeyemi and Olugbon of Igbon, Oba Francis Olu Alao.
In their separate remarks, the traditional rulers threw their support behind the domestication, institutionalization, teaching and learning of the new alphabets, stressing that, the initiative, if sustained will go a long way at reconnecting the Yorubas all over the world.
In his words, Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ajase Port-Novo said the purpose of the visit was to intimate the Governor with the need to support the promotion of the new Oduduwa alphabets which according to him will give the Yorubas their deserved identity.
“We are here to advocate the need for us as Yorubas, both at home and in the Diaspora, particularly those of us who fall into other countries on the need to support the promotion, teaching and learning of the newly invented Oduduwa alphabets.
The monarchs hailed Governor Aregbesola for his commitment to the promotion and advancement of African culture, tradition and values, particularly the Yoruba language.
The royal fathers described Aregbesola as a symbol of African culture whose personality and influence have been used to promote indigenous culture, norms and customs. They lauded the Governor for taking the lead in positioning African tradition and culture to its rightful position.
“We chose to visit Mr Governor not because of other things but because of his love and passion for the development of African culture, particularly anything that concerns Yorubas.
“We have seen the role which you have been playing at fostering unity, peace and togetherness among the Yorubas; and to us, this is commendable and outstanding. It is on this that we are flagging-off the campaign and advocacy over the newly invented alphabets which will henceforth be used for teaching and learning in public schools.
“It is our collective belief that the learning of these alphabets will give us our true identity, foster unity, distinguish us and reunite us as a nation”, they said
Also speaking, the Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom, Oba Mogbagbeola noted that the new alphabets will serve as a strong mechanism to strengthen the unity of the Yorubas.
He announced that a steering committee would be constituted to actualize the teaching and learning of the new alphabets.
Governor Aregbesola commended the traditional rulers for their efforts and urged them to complement the efforts by ensuring the message of learning of the alphabets spread to their various domains.
He expressed his government support for the new alphabets, saying “this will serve as a means of engendering unity among the Yorubas”.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo