Africans must promote indigenous culture and traditions with a view to preserving and transferring its rich heritage to the younger generations.
This was the submission of the generalissimo of the Yoruba race, the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Gani Adams at the Osun-Osogbo International Cultural festival which was held on Friday.
“I solicit support from all true Yoruba sons and daughters for the sustenance of this important festival, just as I beseech them to uphold the festival of arts and culture that Osun Osogbo represents. Osun Osogbo is the first indigenous festival in Nigeria to have an international touch; therefore its value of unity in diversity must be upheld.
“It is also the largest gathering of youths; so it provides a channel for transfer of culture and tradition to the younger generation,’’ he said.
The host Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola promised a sustained support to the popular cultural fest, saying “the festival brings about economic development, as tourists who besiege the city lodge and spend their resources which in turn improve the State economy.”
Sustainability and growth
Aregbesola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr Olawale Adebisi said the festival provides the largest platform for tradition and culture to be exhibited.
He gave assurance of government continuous support for the festival to ensure its sustainability and growth.
The Governor called on the host monarch, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun to use the occasion to pray for Nigeria as well as victory for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in the coming election in Osun State in order to sustain its developmental initiatives.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mrs Taiwo Oluga similarly paid tributes to the Ataoja for successfully hosting of 2018 edition of the festival enjoined individuals and corporate bodies to seek to enhance the promotion of African culture and heritage.
Oluga urged Osun indigenes to extend the spirit and ethos of Omoluabi to all visitors and tourists by being helpful and hospitable.
The Ataoja, the host monarch thanked those who attended the event and prayed for the success of both governorship election and next year’s presidential poll.Osun Osogbo is a two-week festival, which culminates in the votary virgin (Arugba) carrying the Osun calabash on her head through the city and finally stopping at the shrine in the sacred groove. .
This year’s festival, like previous ones, attracted thousands of tourists, Osun devotees, masquerades and culture enthusiasts from all over the world.
Other monarchs, masquerades, traditional religion worshippers and devotees paid homage to the festival host, the Ataoja himself, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, at the Osun groove.