Emulate Ilorin people for peace to reign, Unilorin VC urges Nigerians
Ambali made the call during the second National Conference of the Centre for Ilorin Studies (CILS) of the University, with the theme: “Language and Religious Scholarship in West Africa: The Ilorin Factor”.
He noted that that Ilorin was a conglomerate of diverse tribes and cultures, intertwined and living peacefully.
“It is my belief that we need to understand and appreciate how the Yoruba, Fulani, Hausas, Nupe, Baruba, Gobirawa and the rest of the groups that make Ilorin, were able to live together harmoniously.
“We will then appreciate that Nigeria, despite our cultural plurality, can also be a peaceful and harmonious abode for us all,” he said.
Ambali urged the Federal Government to study the Ilorin situation and apply the principle nationwide, so that the country’s diversity, would be converted to strength.
In his keynote address, Justice Saliu Belgore, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), gave an exposition of the Ilorin city, saying the name “Ilu-Erin” meant “City of metal weapon”.
He disclosed that by the 17th century, the town was a small village and when Oyo became a powerful kingdom, it became one of the places to check the incursion of the Nupe slave traders.
According to him, the Yoruba people were to later merge with many indigenous people, to the extent that their language became influenced.
He explained that Muslims from various parts of Africa and the Sudan moving down to Yoruba land, were teachers and preachers, among them, the Islamic Scholar; Mohammmed Saleh.
He added that Saleh settled in Ilorin after his sojourn in some parts of Yoruba kingdom and became a renowned preacher nicknamed “Alimi” in Ilorin.
Belgore noted that the Islamic preacher, after aiding a warrior, named Afonja, who ran from the Oyo Empire, established an Islamic caliphate and homogenised all tribes within the city.
Prof Abdulrasheed Na’ Allah, Vice-Chancellor of Kwara State University (KWASU), who also spoke at the event, said that language was the most important endowment of human beings.
He noted that the linguistic proficiency of Ilorin had always being accorded high regards and dueattention.. (NAN)
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