Kiriji festival: Stakeholders preach unity, demand war museum

State governments in the South-West have been advised to preserve the history of the Kiriji War by establishing a museum at the spot where the peace treaty ending the war was signed in Imesi-Ile. The war is believed to be among the longest running ethnic wars.

The advice was given by participants at an event marking the anniversary of the end of the war, held at the palace of Owa Oye of Imesi-Ile, Osun State, on Saturday.

The Owa Oye, Oba Enoch Akinyemi, who was represented at the event by the Odofin of Imesi-Ile, Chief Ademola Oginni, urged royal fathers in Yorubaland to ensure that peaceful coexistence was sustained.

The monarch also implored to protect the natural endowment of their race, adding that no effort should be spared in promoting peace among different interests within the race.

The Director-General, Kiriji Heritage Defenders, Dr Ademola Ekundayo, said September 23 should be declared Yoruba Unite Day in commemoration of the end of the war.

He added, “South West governors must meet and approve September 23 as Yoruba Unity Day, in commemoration of the end of one the longest ethnic wars in the history of mankind. Such a day should be made Yoruba Unity Day. It is not a day that won’t be marked, because it was on that day Yoruba people resolved to live in peace.

“And the site where the peace treaty was signed to signify the end of the war in Imesi-Ile should be preserved. War museum should be sited in the forest as part of efforts to preserve our history as a race.

“Pupils in secondary schools and even History students in universities will definitely make use of such a museum to gain better insight into the issues around wars in Yoruba land. They will know the key characters in the war and what they did.”

Apart from the rites performed inside the Kiriji War Forest during the anniversary, there were performances by hunters, members of Oodua Peoples Congress, amongst others.

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