I saw Ufuoma Bernard’s article, disagreeing with some aspects of the new Olu of Warri’s conduct during his conduct during the weekend.
He complained about how he desecrated aspects of Itshekiri culture by giving his speech in English and singing a gospel song.
Well, I thought I should give him and other similar purists a piece of my mind.
The so called traditions and cultures most purists harp on about replaced a previous way of doing things at a time due to pragmatism and the needs of the moment. So don’t be surprised that they are being replaced.
The Olu just demonstrated his pragmatism in dealing with the times that have changed. The traditional monarchy system is under pressure to prove it’s relevance in society. Many have questioned it’s maintenance in the face of the local government system we have.
The Olu was only demonstrating the need for change. His duties will be very different from that of his forefathers. So why carry out rituals and rites that have no meaning in the present day?
In Warri today, there are many non indigenes who have settled in the town so the Olu has to reach out to them. There are also other realities that weren’t around in the past which also have to be dealt with like the presence of the two major imported religions.
Even constitutional monarchies like those of the British, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, and the Belgians have had to alter their behavior and how they interact with the public. The Olu, with his exposure, has realized this and has added this fact to his own reality.
So you purists have to be realistic about situations rather than harp on about ‘awa kulsho’ as if the past was all rosy.