Oba Guidimand Jegbe of latche Avrankou in Benin Republic, is no doubt one of the Yoruba descent in the diaspora that is not comfortable with lack of coordination and unity among the descendants of Oduduwa ,in Nigeria. In this interview with Remi Oladoye, Jegbe identifies religion and politics as the major factor that are responsible for the division among the Yoruba tribe.
Kabiesi, can we meet you sir ?
I am Guidimand Jegbe of latche Avrankou in Benin Republic, my community is ilase, and the meaning of my name in Yorubaland is makanjuola , Ilase one of the Yoruba communities in Benin who have its origin in Yorubaland , in Nigeria, do not forget that Before the advent of the colonial people, there is no border between us, Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin Republic are one ,it was the colonial masters that created border and when you mention ilase you know that is Yoruba and everywhere in the world ilase people are the same, we are Yorubas . Though In our present location which is Benin republic we don’t speak Yoruba often but we are conscious of our identity and cultural background,
How cordial is the between latche and ilase in Yoruba land of Nigeria
Very cordial, we even have a committee, we relate very well , our speaking style may not be as smooth as that our kinsmen who resides in Yorubaland in Nigeria but we are the brothers and we relate as one
What about culture and tradition, do you do the same thing they do in Yorubaland ?
Yes, almost the same thing, don’t forget that the English colonized Nigerian while in our domain in Benin Republic, it was the French speaking people colonized us, there is a little different but we that identified ourselves as Yoruba tribes know we are the same, our culture and tradition are not different too.
Sir, have you ever traced the source of Ilase and where is it ?
We migrated from a place called Arogunmasa, it is in Oyo, our progenitors are warriors, and they are fearless and courageous.
When did you become Onilase
About 11 years ago
Since you have been enthroned how has your relationship with other Yoruba communities in Benin Republic been?
There is no problem between us , we relate very well, we see ourselves as brothers, we don’t discriminate against each other and we love ourselves though, many people try cause problem between us , but the cord of brotherhood never allow it to work, and that is why in countries like Togo, Ghana, and other countries where we have Yoruba towns and communities we relate as brothers and sisters which we truly are.
Sir many Yoruba communities today suffers disunity and cooperation, what are the factors responsible and what are the way out ?
God bless you for this question. we have started reviving the culture of unity and togetherness in Yorubaland and the trend is on, also what Gani Adams is doing in promoting and defending Yorubaland is encouraging and that is why people are supporting and praying for him, Awolowo and Abiola have been president of Nigeria but they were not allowed, what I feel is that we have put so much thrust in the foreign Gods, let me tell you any church or mosque that says you should not practice your tradition and culture is your enemy, there is one God, we Yoruba don’t trust and we don’t love ourselves, ile ife where we all came from is a land of love but today the case is not so, we don’t forgive ourselves any easily, there is no respect for the elders, the elders too tramples on the right of the younger ones , everybody is on its own we need to go back to the foundation, the root and talk to ourselves , secondly, we have allow politics to separate us, it should be so, Yoruba land should not be so, political affiliation should not separate us.
Otunba Gani Adams was recently announced by Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland what is your take
I am in total support, he deserves it, I was supposed to be at the event but I have been earlier invited to another event in Cameroon, the program was about another Yoruba affairs Cameroon, I was glad when I heard the news and I have been praying for his success since that day , I am optimistic that he won’t die young like Abiola, Yoruba will not betray him and we will support him to have his dream and mission fulfilled.