The launching of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU) platform in Scandinavia where the Yoruba in diaspora can meet to offer support for one another, defend the cultural heritage and strengthening the common interest of the Yoruba race took place in Gothenburg, Sweden on 29th November 2014.OPU was formed in Sweden in order to uphold the fundamental ideals of the Yoruba founding fathers and rejuvenate the spirit and consciousness of the people to form a united front in order to guarantee the future of Yorubas within the Nigeria socio-political circle and keep the heritage alive in Scandinavia. That was the opening welcome address by Mr. Victor Mobolaji Adewale, the coordinator of OPU in Scandinavia
The Nigeria Ambassador to Scandinavia, H.E Benedict Onochie Amobi was represented by Mrs. Jane Ndem from Nigeria Embassy Stockholm at the occasion. In her remark, she thanked the organizer of the OPU in Scandinavia and said she was impressed with the display of Eyo Masquerade which has its ancestral cultural root to Lagos, Nigeria. The embassy also encouraged Nigerian not only to focus on the cultural transfer from Nigeria to Europe alone but also to enhance effective transfer of technology from Sweden to Nigeria.
The leader of the OPU worldwide, Dr. Gani Adams was represented at the occasion by Captain Abiodun Adesina. In his speech which was delivered on behalf of Gani Adam, he said OPU was formed as a platform for all Yoruba descendant to contribute their quotas to the development of their fatherland, Nigeria, which could be in form of human resources, collective rise against injustices against any Yorubas, building a research center in Ile-Ife which will serve as a bank or information center for future research on the Yoruba race as well as preserve cultural materials for the future generation.
He explained the difference between Oodua Progressives Union(OPU) and Oodua People Congress (OPC) which he said the two organization were distinct in structure and ideology. OPC was created to free Yorubas from the military subjugation, give Yorubas that lives in the rural area freedom and voice without any molestation. However, OPU was formed as a platform for all Yoruba in Diaspora to come together to promote the cultural heritage of the race. As part of the future plan of the OPU in Scandinavia, the organization intends to build Oodua House in Sweden which will serve as a venue to converge for all Yoruba engagement in Sweden.
Even though there were many people that came to witness the OPU Scandinavia launching with OPU representatives from other European countries like Austria, UK, France, Spain etc. in attendance and a first class king from Nigeria, Oba Yisa Olanipekun (Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko), the event could have recorded more success if it had not started extremely behind schedule.
Also, the interactive section for questions and answers was also omitted from the program. The interactive section was meant to explain to new-members or intending members, some of the advantages of OPU, difference between OPU and OPC and to clear the controversy of the stereotypical ideology of voodoo that is stigmatized with OPC. Some other people were of the opinion that the OPU did not have any younger generation on the platform as witnessed at the launching and queried how the ideal will survive when the next generations were excluded.
In summary, the launching was a success that gave room to lots of improvement for the OPU in Scandinavia to lead by example in order to get more people into the organization.
For further information about OPU in Scandinavia, contact the following people:
Mr. Ganiyu Wahab (OPU Co-ordinator Scandinavia) +46 769766911
Mr. Victor M. Adewale (OPU Sweden Co-ordinator) +46 735717677
Mr.Obafemi S. Oshindele (OPU Acting President Scandinavia) +46 764344819
Mr. Sikiru Folami (OPU Scandinavia Finance Secretary) +46 727861195
Mr. Olufemi Oladetoun (OPU Scandinavia Acting Vice President) +46 761546718
Mrs. Mary Ogunsakin (OPU Scandinavia women leader) +46 704303298
Mrs. Victoria Majekodunmi (OPU Scandinavia social secretary) +46 737220367
Here is the summary pictures of the launching
Photograph by: Nissor Addourazakov
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