Aregbesola endorses Atlantic Bond Initiative as cultural promoter

  • Set for Lagos-Oyotunji Cultural Heritage Fiesta

Osun State Governot Rauf Aregbesola has endorsed Atlantic Bond Initiative as the custodian and promoter of socio-cultural relationship between Africa and the United State of America.

Aregbesola sealed the endorsement bid during a courtesy visit by the Atlantic Bond Initiative Group to the governor’s office in Osogbo, Osun-State, on Tuesday.

The initiative was aimed at cementing a progressive socio-cultural connect, business and relationship between Osun State and South Carolina, City of Camden/Oyotunji African Village, Sheldon, USA.

Aregbesola who described the initiative as a laudable one, pledged his commitment towards supporting cultural advocacy and development in Nigeria and Africa.

“The initiative reminds us of dehumanising and maltreatment that Nigerians faced during slavery in the years back.

The governor said that he would support the initiative in all ramifications in order to create a window for blacks in Diaspora to trace their root to Africa and most especially Nigeria.

“The initiative will bring about increase in foreign exchange earnings, since the initiative attract influx of blacks in Diaspora to Nigeria.

“This will in turn improve the economy of the state and also create a strong cultural bond between Nigerians and the Americans,” He said.

He applauded the historic cultural heritage programme, themed: “Lagos-Oyotunji Cultural Heritage Fiesta that would be holding soon at the Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, South Carolina, USA.

Earlier, the anti-child trafficking activist and the founder of the initiative, Mr Rotimi Vaughan disclosed that the whole idea was to reconnect blacks in Diaspora to their root.

Vaughan however said that plans are in top gear to hold Lagos-Oyotunji Cultural Heritage Fiesta at the Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, South Carolina, USA.

He said the courtesy visit to Osun State was to invite governor Aregbesola to be one of the guests of honour at 2016 edition of the cultural heritage fiesta.

Vaughan, a lawyer and social entrepreneur, said that the festival is riding on the fact that modern slavery is an evil reminder of the terribly dehumanising past of the African continent.”

He said that he is a direct descendant of South Carolinian Scipio Vaughan, a former slave who became a prominent and respected family man in Camden, South Carolina, United States of America until his death in 1840.

Vaughan said that he is keen to draw attention to striking data available in the area of child trafficking in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.

“I have always looked forward to the day I would ably be in a position to transform my intriguing family historical account of slavery, freedom, dignity and the elevation of the black race into a platform for promoting impactful, socio-cultural bong and understanding between Africa and Americas,” he said

He said that this would be achieved through a project known as the Atlantic Bond Initiative.

The lawyer is set to establish Strategic Promotions, Exchanges, Relations and Ties between Lagos State (City of Badagry) Nigeria and the State of South Carolina (City of Camden) and Oyotunji African Village, Sheldon, USA.

He stated further that, “African Americans in the US are looking forward to reconnect to their roots, which would be a huge spring board under the Atlantic Bond Initiative, thereby bringing positive changes to boost the present state of economy for future benefits.”

He said that his group had already visited the Akran of Badagry and would also be visiting some governors and Oba`s in Nigeria for a wake up calls.

Vaughan said that the idea was to sensitise Nigerians about the socio-cultural and trade exchange that Nigeria and the USA can benefit and also to connect Nigerians to Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, South Carolina, USA.