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I welcome you all to this historic event of the inauguration of Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) in Switzerland. Today marks another threshold in our concerted effort to further solidify the presence of Yoruba across the globe.
The history of Switzerland since 1848 has been largely one of success and prosperity.
Switzerland’s traditionally agricultural economy has successfully been transformed by the Industrialisation of the country. It is also on record that Swiss neutrality during the World Wars and the success of the banking industry have contributed in huge quantum to globally acknowledged status of the country as one of the world’s most stable economies.

You all will recall that Switzerland signed a free-trade agreement with the European Economic Community in 1972. Since then, it has participated in the process of European integration by way of bilateral treaties.
At this point, I want us to know that the unity of the Yoruba people is very important. For us to continue to progress and make the desired impact across the globe, we need to come together and present a common and united front.

You will recall that we have a saying in Yoruba land that “Agbaj’owo Lafi n soya. Ajoji owo kan ko gberu dori”. Literally, this means that ‘united we stand divided we fall’. Our unity should remain non-negotiable, because it is the only way forward for the Yoruba race.
As we gather here today, I want you to realize that we are about to witness a rebirth of our age-long cultural uniqueness. On display here today is the socio-intellectual assets, amazing civilization and uncommon unity of the Yoruba race.
This event is no doubt a culmination of the determination of positive-minded fellows like you to ensure that there is a generational platform for Yoruba sons and daughters, wherever they may be, to rekindle those spirits that made us stand out among others in the past.

It must, however, be emphasized here that the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU) is not a organization and we are not in any way affiliated to any political group or organization.
As a matter of fact, in action and deed, our focus is to promote and to protect the interests of the Yoruba race, especially our sons and daughters in the Diaspora. Your success is our success and whatever it takes for you to succeed is our desire.
Let me remind you that nobody expects the journey to be smooth and easy. It is a journey that may be filled with hurdles and mountains. But, you should know at all times that we cannot afford to give up on our dream of a united and progressive Yoruba land.
The popular saying that ‘winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win’ should be our watch word at all times. And it is my belief that if we continue with that spirit, we will soon begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I want to say that the step towards that needed unity and the much-needed spirit of brotherhood that will catapult the Yoruba nation to its rightful place of pride is continuing today with the launch of the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) in Switzerland.
The OPU has successfully brought together the Yoruba race in all West African countries. Despite the demarcation by the Whiteman, which has often been described as artificial, our people have come to realize that they are all Yoruba sons and daughters and have continued to protect the interest of their forefathers.
Let me at this juncture beg you not to relent in your effort to make a significant mark with your presence as a representative of OPU in Switzerland. I want to see all of you continue with your contribution to the growth of OPU until we make our presence felt in every country of the world.
And as you continue to progress and make success of your career in Switzerland, you must realize that home is home. You must never forget that Yoruba land is your home and it is the responsibility of all of us to develop Yoruba land.

Therefore, you must continue to ensure that, no matter how little you earn, you must ensure that you do not forget to develop your home land. Our proverb says ‘Ile labo simi oko’. No matter how sweet life is in your country of residence, you must also try to do something for your home land.
It is important for you to know that you cannot afford to abandon your home land. I beg you to make sure that you try to visit home whenever the opportunity presents itself. Such visits will help you to be in tune with happenings at home and to know what your mates are doing or important things that you need to do for your people.
It is no point denying the fact our nation is going through some difficult times. The people have come out to suggest various solutions to the problems. Top on the list of suggestions is that we need a political solution to the problems.
I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that most of the problems in the country are political. For long, people with discerning minds have called for a restructuring of the country.
That is the only hope of the country for us to move forward and join the developed countries of the world. You and I know that the restructuring of the country will allow the federating units to develop at their own pace and no one will be a burden on the other as we are currently witnessing in the country. Therefore, for us to move forward, we need to find solutions to all the political problems facing our country. If we do that, the economic recession will become a thing of the past.
I cannot end this address without giving honour to all of you for today’s success. The launch of the OPU in Switzerland today is a dream-come true for all of us. It is your success. It our success and we must ensure that we don’t rest on our oars.
However, it is very important for you all to work hand in hand with Nigerian ambassador in Switzerland.
You must realize that each and every one of you is an ambassador of Nigeria in Switzerland. Therefore, your actions should generally be focused on being good ambassadors of Nigeria by preaching peace and unity of the country at all times.
God bless you all. Oodua a gbe wa o.

Otunba  (Dr) Gani Adams, Convener, Oodua Progressive Union  (OPU)

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