Telecommunication giant, Globacom, on Monday called on Nigerians to entrench unity by embracing their cultural heritage and values which had become synonymous with their African identity.
Afolabi Otufowora, Globacom Marketing and Communications Head, Lagos/Ogun, made the call at a press conference to announce the company’s sponsorship plans for the 2018 edition of the Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu-Ode.
He said it was imperative to discourage the wave of modernisation aimed at eroding the age-old cultural activities which many young people tag as primitive.
Otufowora said Nigerians, especially the youths, needed to strive to deepen the unity of the country by showing interest in cultural history with a view to gaining a greater understanding of traditional values.
The 2018 Ojude Oba Festival has as theme: ‘Ojude Oba: Celebration of Rich Cultural Heritage’.
He said: “Historically, the annual Ojude Oba Festival is a rallying point for all Ijebus to pay homage to the Awujale and unanimously push Ijebuland to the next level of social, psychological and infrastructural development.
“We commend our highly revered paramount ruler, Oba Sikiru Adetona, for the numerous giant strides recorded since he ascended the throne.
“It is noteworthy that the monarch has been using the festival to address issues relevant to the development of Ijebuland, in particular, and Ogun State, in general.
“We are happy that prominent personalities from all over the country usually grace the festival on the invitation of the monarch as special guests.
“This is a testimony to the fact that the Ojude Oba festival is also a plank for building and sustaining the unity of the country.”
According to him, the company’s resolve to scale up preparations for the 2018 edition includes staging a promo specifically for the festival with a star prize of a new car.
He said participants are expected to visit Globacom’s designated ‘Glo World’ shops for more details on how to participate in the promo.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Ojude Oba Planning Committee, Chief Wahab Osinusi, said that the organisers of the festival were working with the Ogun government to fully maximise its potentials for tourism.
Osinusi, the Otunba Fidipote of Ijebuland, said the tourism sector was an untapped gold mine which had the potential to alleviate poverty, create employment and generate revenue for development.
He described the festival as a cultural heritage that transcended religious divides and was promoting peace while aiding the socio-economic development of the community.
He said: “The festival is not only about the equestrian display, parade of culture and tradition, merry-making and funfair.
“It also boosts commerce and trade in its entirety as commercial and trading activities are at their peak before, during and after the festival.
“All the facilities; hotels, restaurants, artisans, craftsmen, transporters, professionals, market men and women, among others, are fully engaged with several multiplier corporate effects.”
He assured participants and guests of adequate medical services, security and traffic management, adding that all security agencies had been mobilised to ensure a hitch-free celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2018 Ojude Oba Festival is slated for two days after the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.