We are not carrying our culture the way it should ― Obasanjo
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigerians are not carrying their culture the way it should be.
Obasanjo, therefore, said something must be done in order to live up the country’s culture.
Olusegun, who was the Chairman of the occasion, said this at the 40th Memorial Anniversary Lecture, Public Presentation and Book Launch titled: Cultural Modernity in a Colonised World. The Writings of Chief Isaac O. Delano, held yesterday in Lagos.
“We are not carrying our culture as we should. Culture is the totality of the life of people- Language.
“I go around the world and occasionally it puts me into trouble. They tell me “you man with a funny dress”. Whenever they say that I tell them my dress is not funny but unique.
“I believe we must do something to live up our culture in order to deliver it from extinction and enthrone its development,” Obasanjo said.
The former president emphasised the importance of history as critical to the development of the country.
“If history is your past and you are trying to forget your past, It is like a man losing his memory.
“History should prepare us for the future, and guide us for the future. But, when they say history should be scrapped, I wondered why” Obasanjo said.
A Professor of Humanities and the author of the Book, Professor Toyin Falola urged Nigerians not to lose their culture to globalisation, applauding the Federal Government for bringing back history to schools.
While noting that culture unites Africans as one, Toyin noted that history consolidates ideas to build nationalism, patriotism and intimate future generations about past achievements and leadership.
“First of all, we should not lose our culture. We should not allow globalisation to destroy our culture. We should promote our values. We should raise our children very well. We should let our language endure.
“History has been brought back after two books had been written. The teaching of history is going to begin, even the Federal Government has changed its mind and history is now back to schools.
“In a country like this, history is good to consolidate ideas around the nation to build nationalism, to build patriotism, to let the current generation know about the past in terms of its achievements, in terms of leadership and also in terms of mistakes people have made so that these things can be corrected.
“We have our collective humanity as Africans and our resources as groups. Culture Unites as Africans and it also creates diversity, which is what we bring together.
“When you listen to the music of Osadebe, you would enjoy it. When you listen to the music of Sunny Ade, you would enjoy it.
“One morning, you can eat Ogbono. In the afternoon, you can eat Efo riro. That shows the diversity that we should build upon” Falola said.
The Lecturer eulogised the late Isaac Delano for the good works done, noting that his legacies would never be written off as generations upon generations applaud it.
“40 years ago, we lost one of the major Yoruba writers, who belong to the company of Fagunwa Odunjo. His name was Delano.
“This is the first time a book would be released on him. He was the very first to contribute to the development of Yoruba grammar, the very first to write the dictionary of Yoruba verb and the very first to publish a book on Yoruba proverbs.
“He contributed to the development of Yoruba language, to using language in the writing of projects and he developed many literary works, mainly Aye Di Aye Oyinbo.
So, the event is to remember him, his legacies and his works.
“Most of his books especially Soul of Nigeria, Aye Di Aye Oyinbo and how language works and expounded his contribution to the development of Nigeria, his views on politics,” the Lecturer said.
He itemised Delano’s legacies in the area of teachings, development, agriculture and legacies to Nigerian politics
Delano’s Son, Chief Akinwande Delano SAN described the event as successful, auspicious and heartfelt thanks to God, assuring to proceed by taking the challenge up and turnover Isaac Oluwole Delano to the public as the lecturer suggested
Chief noted that a board of Trustees would be formed, which may not be necessarily family but the public who are interested with the aim of promoting his works and ideas.
Akinwande described his dad as a great and humble man, saying he wouldn’t have dealt with the event today if he was alive.
Towing the lines of the aforementioned speakers, Delano said that culture is part saying it is the spirit of the individuals and that is where ideas are being translated from.