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Ojude Oba festival: Nigeria’s Cultural Diversity Is Strength, Not Weakness —Gov. Dickson

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. 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.

Gov. Dickson, who led the Bayelsa Delegation, made this known during the 2016 Ojude Oba festival with
the theme: ‘Ojude Oba, our culture, our pride’, expressed the growing need to showcase the nation’s rich cultural heritage to the outside world.

Governor Dickson, who described culture, as a means of identification and a unifying factor, said all hands must be on deck at ensuring the promotion of Nigeria rich and diverse cultural endowments, ‘the leadership at all levels of government to ensure the formulation of policies that would be geared towards the promotion of the culture and tradition of the people at all times. Stressing that, the urgent need to promote the cultural heritage of the country has become more imperative”.

Dickson commended the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Dr. Sikiru Adetona and the entire people of Ijebuland for the preservation of their rich culture and tradition, adding that, the Ojude Oba festival has 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 Bayelsa State Governor, who also 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, Ogbagba II commended Dickson for identifying with his root, adding that, the festival was historical.

The monarch said he would not relent in his efforts at promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Ijebuland.
According to him, Ojude Oba, which is a festival with a long history, is an event where sons and daughters of Ijebuland and their well-wishers gather to appreciate and pay homage to their traditional rulers and the symbol of Ijebu tradition.

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.

He described Ojude Oba as a unique festival, that must be promoted and showcase 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 Ijebuland are.

He also stressed the need for the exchange of cultural ideas, disclosing that, ‘what I have seen here today, I will discuss it with my people at home.

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

The host governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun thanked Governor Dickson for identifying with the people of Ogun state, adding that, it has further confirmed his Ijebu background. He went on to commend Oba Adetona for his leadership qualities and urged the youths to always seeing him as a role model.

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