Ojude Oba festival: Nigeria’s cultural diversity is strength, not weakness —Dickson

The Bayelsa State governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, on Wednesday, said the annual Ojude Oba festival of the Ijebu people in Ogun State has further confirmed Nigeria’s cultural and ethnic diversity as strength and not a weakness.

He made the submission during the 2016 Ojude Oba festival with the theme: ‘Ojude Oba, our culture, our pride’, when he led the Bayelsa State delegation.

Dickson, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, expressed the growing need to showcase the nation’s rich cultural heritage to the outside world.

While describing culture as a means of identification and unifying factor, the governor said all hands must be on deck at ensuring the promotion of Nigeria’s rich and diverse cultural endowments.

He, therefore, called on the leadership at all levels of government to ensure the formulation of policies that would promote the culture and tradition of the people at all times.

Dickson commended the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and the entire people of Ijebuland for the preservation of their rich culture and tradition, adding that, the Ojude Oba festival had some unique qualities, which needed to be exported to the rest of the world.

“The festival has come to stay. There is no doubt about that, my family and I are very proud of the Ijebu blood that runs in us. We will continue to be part of this festival.”

The governor, who described Nigeria as a rainbow, with many colours, warned against playing politics with the cultural heritage of the people, as it speaks volumes of the kind of persons that we are.

In his address, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, commended Dickson for identifying with his root, adding that the festival was a historical event of the people.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, described the Awujale of Ijebuland as a father that has impacted so much on his life.

The host governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, thanked Governor Dickson for identifying with the people of Ogun, adding that it has further confirmed his Ijebu background.

He described Ojude Oba as a unique festival that must be promoted and showcased to the rest of the world, adding that ‘my coming here today is an eye-opener that the nation has all that it takes to compete with the rest of the world.

In an interview with newsmen, the chairman of the Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, commended the Awujale of Ijebuland and his council of chiefs for their vision, stating that, the annual event speaks volumes of the kind of people the Ijebus are.

Speaking in the same vein, a member of the National Assembly, representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, Honourable Douye Diri, called for the promotion of our cultural heritage, describing it, not only as a unifying factor, but a means of identity for the people.

The host governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, thanked Governor Dickson for identifying with the people of Ogun, adding that it has further confirmed his Ijebu background.

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