Olokun 2021: Seme border continued closure a disservice to South-West ― Gani Adams

• tasks FG to urgently reopen it

Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Gani Adams, has expressed concern over the continued closure of the Seme border, saying the closure was a disservice to the South-West and a huge implication to the nation’s economy, urging the Federal Government to urgently reopen it considering its importance to Nigeria and Nigerians.

It would be recalled that the Seme border was shut in August 2019 to curb the smuggling of goods and weapons into the country.

Iba Adams said this on Wednesday while speaking at the 2021 edition of the Olokun Festival held at Suntan Beach Badagry, noting that though the Federal Government had said the closure was to curb smuggling of goods and weapons, such was far from the truth.

The Yoruba generalissimo, while expressing sadness that the border still remained close, said closing it for close to three years in a nation like Nigeria was not good for the economy, even as he said the spate of insecurity remained challenging with a lot needed to be done to solve the problem.

“The issue of the border closure is also a thing of worry. Seme border was shut in August 2019 to curb smuggling of goods and weapons.

“However, it is sad that the border still remains close. Closing the border for close to three years in a nation like Nigeria is not good for our economy.

“Without war, Seme border closure is a disservice to the South-West. The implication of this prolonged closure on the nation’s economy is huge.

“Therefore, I urge the Federal Government to urgently open the Seme border considering its importance to Nigeria and Nigerians,” Adams said.

Speaking further, Iba Adams reaffirmed the need to inject spiritual contents into festivals and cultural events, declaring that the introduction of Arugba Aje Olokun into the activities of the Olokun Festival grand finale was to fulfil the spiritual purposes of the annual fiesta.

“The idea of showcasing the spiritual concept of the Arugba Aje Olokun is to explore the beauty of the Olokun spirit.

“It is a reflection of the sanctity of the Olokun spirit and not an ordinary creation of human thinking.

“It is also the originating symbol of the Olokun spirit that creates wealth, peace and tranquility that Badagry and its environs are enjoying till date,” he said.

Akran of Badagry, ObaDe-Wheno Aholu, who led over 50 monarchs, and mayors both from Badagry and Republic of Benin at the event, applauded Iba Adams’ determination in sustaining the festival for over two decades, insisting that Badagry had, for a very long time, benefitted immensely from the annual fiesta.

The Guest Lecturer, Prof. Ayo Luqman Yusuff, from the Institute of African and Diasporan Studies, University of Lagos, said Yoruba past glory can only be regained with events like the Olokun Festival.

According to him, the Yoruba culture, tradition and heritage should be transformed to cater to the spiritual, economic and political needs of the race, urging all and sundry to work towards sustaining that cultural heritage.

“With our strengths, Yoruba remains a factor in Nigeria, and there is nothing good that we cannot achieve with our culture and tradition. Therefore, I urge all and sundry to work towards sustaining that cultural heritage,” Prof. Yusuff said.

Other guests at the event include traditional rulers, businessmen and women and culture enthusiasts, among others.

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