The city of Ile Ife, Nigeria has been declared as a twin city of Salvador, the capital of Bahia state in Brazil.
The declaration was made in Casa-Pefetora, Office of Mayor of Salvador by the Mayor, Acm Neto, after the bill had been passed by the Congress of Salvador sequel to the motion moved by Hon. Mauricio Trindade.
Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, is to sign the treaty on behalf of Ile Ife and in the interest of the entire Yoruba race worldwide during his ongoing 10-day tour of Brazil.
Giving insight into the benefits inherent in the treaty, the Director, Institute of African Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Ayo Omidire said Ile-Ife being declared a twin of the citiy of Salvador has opened a gateway of relationship between the city of Ile-Ife and Salvador, a town with the second largest population of blacks outside Africa.
Omidire said the city of Ile Ife, with the treaty has been given opportunity of cultural exchange, artistic and economic empowerment which will also be beneficial to the entire Yoruba race
A statement by the director of Media and Public Relations, Ooni’s Palace, Moses Olafare, quoted the treaty as saying “authorities of Bahia state will send the treaty to the Brazilian Ministry of External Affairs to give it diplomatic backing.
“The treaty is for the entire Yoruba race. Ile-Ife was mentioned specifically being the headquarters of the Yoruba race. So as Ife is the recognised ancestral home of the Yoruba people, Bahia is henceforth seen as the headquarters of Yoruba race in Americas. All Yoruba speaking states will benefit from the opportunities listed in the agreement.” Olafare said.
The agreement reads in parts: “With this agreement, the City of Ile Ife has been twinned with the two city of Salvador, the capital of Bahia state, Brazil. This will give room for cooperation and collaborations through cultural exchange, artistic, social, tourists and economic empowerment.”
Meanwhile, Mayor of Salvador, Hon. ACM Neto has urged Ooni Ogunwusi who is a Co-chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria and other Yoruba monarchs on his entourage to pray for Brazil to surmount the current political challenges facing the country.
Neto spoke while receiving the advance delegation of Ooni’s entourage to Brazil, led by Ajero of Ijeroland, Oba Joseph Adewole and Timi of Ede, Oba Muniru Lawal.
Responding, Ajero of Ijero, Oba Adewole, assured the people of Salvador of the readiness of Ooni and other Yoruba monarchs to assist in whatever form the people of Salvador, overcome their challenges.
Others in the delegation to the Mayor of Salvador were, a senior official of Nigeria Embassy in Brazil, A.I Imam, Jegun of Idepe Okitipupa in Ondo state, Oba Michael Obatuga, Alayandelu of Ayandelu, Lagos state, Oba Aderibigbe Akanmu, and Alaran of Arandun Kwara state, Oba Ibikunle Adekanye.