By YETUNDE FATUNGASE
ABEOKUTA- The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has pledged his support and that of Africans to the administration of the new President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
This was made known in a statement issued by the Palace’s Director of Media and Public Affairs, Otunba Moses Olafare on Monday.
According to Olafare, the Ooni made the promise during the inauguration ceremony of the president on Jan. 1 in Brasilia.
Ogunwusi commended Lula for his love for the African people and his vow to integrate Afro-Brazilians in the inner system of his government administration.
According to him, this would be unprecedented in the lives of Afro-Brazilians for which the African people worldwide will give his government unflinching support.
He pointed out the significance of the emergence of Lula as a leader who would work for the masses.
Ogunwusi said he believed that Lula would specially work for African-Brazilians and productively partner with the African continent for development, especially in areas of cultural tourism and traditional religion.
He said: “I am delighted to have been invited to this epoch event for the inauguration of President Lula who is our in-law in Africa.
“I would have been here today but it coincides with some Oduduwa Festival activities in Ile-Ife, the cradle of mankind, so I decided to send a delegation to represent me here.
“Well, the new president is obviously a man of the masses; he’s a lover of Africa and as you may have heard him in his inaugural address here today.”’
The Ooni said da Silva plans to engage in productive partnership with the African continent and ensure adequate participation of the African Brazilians in his government administration.
Ogunwusi said: “This to us is very significant; don’t forget that Africans represent not less than 60 per cent of the population in Brazil.
”Therefore, if that is what he has come to do, then, the entire African people worldwide will support him. If a government is about the masses here, it means that the government is for Africa.
“Of course Lula has always been one of us in Africa, that’s why you see that the continent is well represented here today; Angola, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria and the rest.
“We are here as a royal delegation representing the African monarch who is also one of the oldest monarchs in the world to identify with Brazil, particularly Lula’s presidency which promises to focus on the masses and African partnership.”
NAN reports that the Ooni was represented by Olafare, who led a 4-man delegation to the ceremony.
NAN reports that Olafare was accompanied by the House of Oduduwa’s Ambassador to Brazil and South America, Mr Ajoyemi Osunleye, Ooni’s Liaison Officer in Brazil, Carolina Maira Morais and Emese Seun Arasanmi, bearer of the Ooni’s symbolic royal staff stick. (NAN)