…tasks govt to pay attention to Nigeria’s cultural heritage
By;BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi at the weekend declared that Africa culture, “is a very huge export potential and that its time for Nigeria government to pay serious attention to the nation’s cultural heritage.
Ooni Ogunwusi who made the call in Ile Ife while speaking during the joint celebration of Alafere Oya and Ijugbe festivals identified Nigeria’s cultural heritage as a huge export potential capable of igniting economic rejuvenation.
According to the Ooni, “Our culture is a very huge export potential and tourism is one of the biggest trades in the world” and that foreigners are already appreciating African culture, mysteries and festivals than indigenes of the continents.
“We should celebrate what nature has given to us. Our culture is a very huge export potential and tourism is one of the biggest trades in the world. It is bigger than a lot of investments that you can think of because it has a lot of people’s movement. With tourism, people are able to establish a common heritage and ancestral background” he said.
Lamenting that cultural festivals and heritage are not getting necessary attention from citizens of the country,he said this has been affecting the growth of the local festivals and culture in Nigeria.
“Our heritage is so strong. All the things that we are celebrating may be strange to a lot of people living in Nigeria and Yorubaland but in the Western World, I just returned from the UK where I met with the British royal family and visited the British museum, they don’t joke with our culture”.
Ooni Ogunwusi added that “all these things are so important to them. They traced the origin of mankind to Africa and all these facts are displayed in their libraries and museums. They believe in the potency and power of all these festivals. It is about time for us(Africans) to nurture what we have”.
While calling on government at all levels to improve the level of infrastructure and give the needed to support drive to project the Yoruba culture to the world,the Ooni said,“It is about time for us to focus on tourism by improving our infrastructure and for us to package these entire heritages. Most of the heritage and festivals are very timely and yield benefits”.
“Government should pay serious attention to our heritage. We are blessed here because our tourist centres and attractions are natural. We don’t need to create any form of artificial tourism. They are very natural tourism potentials and that is why we need to display them. We hope that at one point, government will appreciate us”.
Commenting on the joint celebration of Alafere Oya and Ijugbe festivals which attracted participants from Niger and Kwara states of Nigeria, Ooni Ogunwusi said the celebration was to give glory to God Almighty.