The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki yesterday charged states governments in the country to explore opportunities provided by the diverse cultures in their domain to boost economic prosperity of the country. The Senate President who was the Special Guest of Honour at this year’s edition of Ojude Oba festival held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State also urged policy makers, particularly the elective office holders to also pursue activities that will unite various people in Nigeria irrespective of their faith or cultural background. Saraki said both the local and national economy would get a boost if state governments could concentrate effort at upgrading cultural heritage in their domain to attract tourists and earn local and foreign currencies.
The Senate President while delivering his message at the annual Ojude-Oba festival , affirmed that Nigeria’s cultures are veritable sources of revenue, if well packaged. “With the return of thousands of people to their ancestral homes for this festival and thousands more attending as visitors, the local economy will, without a doubt, get a boost. “This is tourism in action. Essentially, domestic tourism is being promoted here, and this is how it should be all over the country. It is therefore necessary for more parts of Nigeria to follow this worthy example, in order to showcase the beauty of our culture to the larger world. “It is heartening that Ojude Oba is already setting the pace in this regard. As we all can see, international visitors are already a fixture at the Awujale Palace Extension, sampling the delights of the spectacular displays. “The tourists send the captivating images out to the world, proving that Africa is also a place of joy, glamour and dance. Importantly, the organisers are also ensuring the festival’s sustainability with the participation of youths at these events.” Saraki also advocated that Nigerian leaders at various positions must work towards ensuring that unity reigns supreme among the citizens as demonstrated in the annual Ijebus’ festival.
Typically held on the third day after Eid-el Kabir, Saraki noted that the Ojude Oba festival has proven as one that unites people of different faiths notwithstanding that it has its origins in Islam. “The festival does not exclude any religious groups. Ojude Oba fosters unity among all Ijebu people, and this is another way in which we as a nation could take a leaf from this festival. Unity is paramount; unity is key. When we are united, we achieve more. When we are united, we record monumental progress.”
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