Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has called for unity among Nigerians regardless of tribes, ethnicity and religious backgrounds.
He said such unity was capable of further enthrenching peaceful co-existence among the people of the country.
Speaking during the World Eri Festival at Enugwu Aguleri, Anambra State, the monarch who was represented by the Asoya of Ile Isoya Ife Kingdom,
Oba Murainu Adebanjo said he was happy to be part of the event, describing Ndigbo as great people.
He said, “I’m interested in national unity because it will guarantee peace as well as bring the best of the people into a more prosperous country where the safely, security and people’s happiness are guaranteed.
“A peaceful and prosperous country is all that we are praying for and we can only get it when we are strongly united as a people.”
The monarch congratulated the Eze Eri and his subject for organizing the event, just as he praised the African Americans that came to identify with their progenitor.
“My prayer is that the festival will continue to serve as a rallying point for integration of people across-board,” he added.
Also speaking, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Chief Nnia Nwodo said the Eri Kingdom has made Ndigbo proud through the festival.
Nwodo, represented by the President of Ohaneze in the State, Chief Damian Afam Ogene described Ooni’s visit as another version of handshake across the Niger from the cultural point of view.
“The festival not only showcases the culture of Ndigbo to the rest of the world but also helps to connect them with others in a manner that enhances friendship between them and their counterparts,” he added.
Nwodo who was honored with a Chieftaincy title of Okwulora (the voice) of Igboland by Eze Eri said the honor would inspire him to continue to serve his people.
“Ohaneze is committed to promoting national unity and will always identify with activities aimed at entrancing national unity from all angles as cultural, religious or political,” he noted.
Earlier, the host and celebrant of the festival, Eze Chukwuemeka Eri said the occasion was a time the Igbo race come together to remember their progenitor Eri said to have migrated from Israel and settled at Aguleri.
He said, “Today we commemorate and celebrate an African and global historical figure Nna Anyi (our father) Eri” the Eze begins rhetorically.
“I welcome my brother and friend from our brotherly land of Yoruba. I thank him for coming here to celebrate with us.
“I use this opportunity to call for peace and unity among the Yoruba and the Igbo and the rest of Nigerians.”