When CBAAC visited Alaafin
AS a follow-up to the expressed desire of Centre for African Arts and Civilization’s management team under the leadership of the Director-General Sir Ferdinand Ikechukwu Anikwe to court the support of royal personages across Nigeria for the centre’s programmes, he recently led the management on a courtesy visit to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III at his palace in Oyo Town.
The centre’s delegation was warmly received by the Cultural Ambassador to the Alaafin Dr. Paula Gomes, who led the delegation to the Alaafin’s ancient court where he usually receives guests.
As soon as the king sat on the throne, the palace spokesman requested the Centre’s Director-General to make his presentation on the essence of the visit.
While addressing the Oba, Anikwe said the centre was founded to propagate and champion the course of cultural heritage of black and Africans to the whole world, and solicited the support of His Majesty to collaborate with CBAAC in her forthcoming international conferences and other programmes.
He also sought assistance to use his influence to bring other royal fathers on board in the project of realising African Cultural Renaissance.
He buttressed the pivotal roles of Africa’s royalty in the reawakening of African culture to the world and noted that as custodians of the people’s heritage, they are important stakeholders in the preservation and propagation of African Culture.
In his response, Oba Adeyemi thanked them and underscored the contributions of Oyo to civilization from the earliest time. According to Oba Adeyemi, Oyo people were the first to practice Cabinet or Parliamentary system of governance before it was introduced in Britain, with the Alaafin as the administrative arrowhead of the cabinet system of government and administrative offices in Yoruba land.
His influence and control was widespread throughout the boundaries of the old Oyo Empire and beyond. Oba Adeyemi also explained that the use of DNA was a phenomenon that was well practiced in ancient Oyo Empire.
According to him, Oyo people had devised the use of DNA as early as 18 BC before the west. He said the monarchs of ancient Oyo had domesticated wild animals like cheetah, leopard and lion and that these animals were trained to identify blood genes to determine the paternity of a child in case of dispute.
He said instead of the cumbersome process of verify in the laboratory, people of ancient Oyo had trained their animals to identify people’s DNA strand. Consequently, paternity disputes were easily resolved and crimes and criminals were effortlessly detected.
The Alaafin also informed the Centre delegation on his efforts to preserve the ancient palace he inherited from his forefathers. According to him, the palace was designed and built by craftsmen of ancient Oyo kingdom and the survival of these monuments is clear testimonies of the intellectual sagacity and creative ingenuity of his ancient Oyo people.
His Royal Majesty ended his remarks with a pledge to assist the centre in realising its mandate. Gomes then took CBAAC team round the major points of historic references in the palace of Alaafin of Oyo.