Ahead of the Tourism Innovation and Development Innovation Conference slated for April 24 at the ancient city, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi said Google originated from ‘Ifa’ also known as the oracle.
Ogunwusi said this during a press tour of the tourists sites in the ancient city.
Odu Ifa refers to the verses of the literary corpus that are usually consulted by people who believe in its efficacy before embarking on any project or activity.
It is also a West African religion and system of divination.
Ogunwusi said Ifa as a form divination was all about sourcing for information and knowledge through traditional consultation.
The traditional ruler said Google could be regarded as the modern way of sourcing for past information and what was likely to happen in the future too.
He said Ifa originated several thousands of years ago and is seen as the voice of the almighty God, referred to as: “Orisa Oke,” which is supreme to other lesser gods.
He said: “Without Ifa, there could never have been Google.
“So Google is the modern day version of Ifa.
“Ifa is all about information, getting knowledge from the almighty God.
“Whenever you search Google for information or knowledge, you are consulting Ifa and without Ifa, there would not have been Google.”
Ogunwusi said Ifa was still relevant in contemporary times.
He said that was why people were still consulting the oracle for information and solutions to their problems.
Ogunwusi explained that if the modern day youths and the educated wanted to know the date of any important event, they would search for it from Google, adding:
“That is part of the functions that Ifa does for its believers and followers.
“That is the truth but it may sound strange.”
The Ooni, who is the custodian of the Youruba culture and tradition, called on Nigerians to embrace traditional worships peculiar to their communities.
He said that would not stop them from practicing other modern religions.
The theme of the forthcoming conference is: “Impact of Sustainable Tourism Development and Marketing of Tourism Destinations on Host communities.