SANGO: Foremost African leader who became instant success in empire building

By Bode Durojaiye

Although the eighth world Sango festival had come and gone, but the life of Alaafin Sango would definitely be an excellent example in leadership considering the fact that  his rule of Oyo  was far less than a decade.

This is a question of not how long but how intensive and significant. 

Before Sango ascended the throne, his brother Ajaka was deposed probably because his temperament did not meet the  requirements of the turbulent period.

Sango was preferred because he was a man of valour, purpose-driven and master of diplomacy.

 He became king when Oyo was at its formative stage and surrounded by mighty and warlike states such as Nupe, Ibariba and Owu.

His charismatic leadership re-defined the character and pattern of inter-group relations and diplomacy and made Oyo the centre-piece of his foreign relations.

His dynamic alliances, including marriages, were constructed to pursue the greater interest of Oyo just as he spared  no effort  in consolidating the military ascendancy of Oyo in the region.

Under the inspirational leadership of Sango, the Oyo kingdom became known not just for the effectiveness of its political system, but as well for its military strength.

Sango’s seven years reign was marked with several wars fought to liberate Oyo from its predatory  and truculent  older neighbours. His short reign consolidated the position of Oyo as the foremost Guinea Savannah State and also secured the independence and sovereignty of the nascent kingdom.

Sango eventually became the hero oh his people and the circumstances of his death as controversial and mysterious as they were have continued to be referenced all over the world.

He died with the concern of his people paramount in his heart. He paid the supreme sacrifice and left Oyo more grandiose, more stable, better administered and more secured than he met the nascent kingdom. 

He would be remembered as one of the rare African leaders who became instant success in empire building.

To this end, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation [UNESCO] has called on governments of South-West States, corporate organisations, well-meaning individuals and Yoruba in diaspora to support the ALAAFIN of Oyo, Oba[Dr.] Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, in his efforts to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of Yoruba.

In his message at a grand finale  of one of the festivals held in Oyo town, Oyo State, the Director and Country Representative of UNESCO in Nigeria, Professor Hassana  Halidou said  what owners of the culture do not appreciate at home are being cherished, admired and highly valued by those outside and are doing everything humanly possible to acquire it by all means and at all cost.

Represented by the National Programme Officer for Culture, Mr.Ayanwale Olayanju, UNESCO Country Representative, he asserted that ‘’the uniqueness of Oyo traditions is worthy of emulation taking for examples the respect Yoruba people have for the institutional authority, clothing and mode of dressing, the beauty of Yoruba language with its semantics, the use of proverbs and aphorism, different satires of Yoruba poems full of wisdom and philosophy that has no equal all over the world.’’

He explained further that Oyo tradition is the pride of Oyo, adding that it is the main reason why the city continues to enjoy respect among the African nations and the black races in general.

‘’ This best explained in the common saying that due process is the nature of administration at Oyo. This is justice which Sango stands for. It is the practice his Imperial Majesty. The ALAAFIN of Oyo is known for, and this is what Nigeria should be known for because where there is justice, there shall be peace and where there is peace, there  will be development and it is development everybody should be working towards to complement whatever the governments at local, state and federal levels are doing.’’

Halidou recalled that in 2005, UNESCO declared Ifa as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity, adding that the government of Japan in collaboration with the federal government contributed to the establishment of Ifa Heritage Institute located in Oyo town, with twice former Vice-Chancellor of the then University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. Professor Wande Abimbola as the sole sponsor since it was established in 2008.

Put one shows the Cultural Ambassador to the Alaafin  of Oyo,  Dr,  Paula Gomez  from Portugal. 

No comments

Powered by Blogger.