Yorubas to celebrate 200 years in Ghana

BY: Daily Graphic / Ghana

Yorubas from all over Ghana will converge on the Aviation Social Centre in Accra on Saturday, November 23, 2013 to mark the anniversary of the arrival of their ancestors in the Gold Coast 200 years ago.

The Yorubas are an ethnic group found mainly in the western part of Nigeria. Some of their major towns are Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin, Ogbomosho, Offa, Oshogbo, Abeokuta, Shaki, Oyo and Ijebu-Ode.

In the colonial days, when the then Gold Coast and Nigeria were under British rule, people from both countries travelled to each other’s country as traders or public servants.

The first group of Yorubas arrived in the Gold Coast around 1813 and initially settled in such places as Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi before moving to the northern part of the Gold  Coast, especially Tamale, Wa, Lawra and Nandom.

On Saturday, the Head of the Yoruba Community in Accra, Chief Barrister Basiru Peregrino Brimah, who is acclaimed as the leader of the Yorubas in Ghana, will receive other heads of Yoruba communities in Kumasi, Sekondi, Koforidua, Ashiaman, Cape Coast, Tamale and other major towns in Ghana to commemorate the migration of their ancestors to the Gold Coast.

Expected in Accra for the great occasion are Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Alao III, the Head of the Yoruba Community in Kumasi, and his counterparts Alhaji Abdul Wahab Raheem from Koforidua, Alhaji Rahman Babatunde Ajayi from Ashiaman and Alhaji Abdul Salami Adeniyi Amao Saka from Kasoa.

Other Yoruba leaders expected are Alhaji Shaibu Adebayo Bamijoko from Cape Coast, Alhaji Muhamadu Raji from Sekondi and Alhaji Ibrahim Bawa Yusif from Tamale, who will be accompanied by the Chairman of the Yoruba Community in the Northern Region, Mr Moses Oladele.

According to Alhaji Musah Baba, the President of the Nigerian Community in Ghana, Yoruba Heritage Awards would be presented to the former Lagos

State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as well as the governors of Oyo and Oshun States, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Alhaji Rauf Arabgesola, respectively, and the Chairman of the Energy Bank, Ghana, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim.

Other recipients of the heritage award are the wife of the Ekiti State governor, Chief Bisi Fayemi; the Aare Musilimu of Yorubaland, Alhaji Arisekola Alao; the veteran actor and writer, Adebayo Faleti, and a former Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Alhaji Musiliu Obanikoro.

Alhaji Baba also hinted that a book titled, “Exploits of A Migrant Community: Chronicle of Yorubas in Ghana”, would be launched as part of the celebrations.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Ademola Oluseyi Onafookan, will be the chief host at the ceremony.