By; BAYO AKAMO,
The Director-General, Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre on Tuesday hinted that the state is committed to supporting, rebranding and promoting cultural festivals in the state.
Ambassador Ojo-Lanre dropped this hint while hosting executive members of the Ogun-Onire Carnival Promotion Forum in his offide in Ado Ekiti.
The Director General, Ekiti state Council of Arts and Culture emphasized that the vision of the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi ” is to imprint bodly the name, cultural values and tradition of the state on the world cultural map.”
Commenting on the Ogun Onire festival, the Director General while lauding the initiatives of the forum and other stakeholders for widening the scopeof celebrating the great African diety, said “Ogun (God of iron)is one of the prominent deities in the world, there is no way Yoruba history will be written without mentioning the role of Ogun and its product, iron on the economic development of the world.”
“We shouldn’t forget our root. Our culture is our identity. It is of note that India, South Korea, among other great countries do not forget their culture. They took civilisation and education from the British, but they don’t forget about their culture,” he said.
Ambassador Ojo-Lanre while charging organisers of Ogun-Onire festival in the state to ensure decency, civility and peace in the celebration of the festival, said, “I’m happy you’re ready to review the way the festival is being celebrated to make it more visitor-friendly and coordinated. It must be civil, it must be decent, it must be free of violence. Let us change the paradigm. Let us have a first class international Ogun festival that will place the Ogun festival in the global cultural map.
Stressing the need support our culture, the DG pointed out that whoever is not proud of his culture is not supposed to live,saying, “I respect culture, and tradition. But they must be practises with civility, decency and without any violence. We must endeavour to change the paradigm.
“I’m happy you’re ready to review the way Ogun-Onire festival is being celebrated to make it more visitor-friendly and coordinated. Let us work towards having a first class international Ogun festival that will place it on the global cultural map.”
Speaking during the visit, the Chairman of the group, Chief Femi Ajayi, lauded Governor Fayemi over the appointment of Ojo-Lanre as the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture boss, which he described as a round peg in a round hole.
Chief Ajayi while commending Ambassador Ojo-Lanre for partnering with relevant stakeholders to promote arts and culture in the state disclosed that plans are on by the group to sensitise the people of the state on how to celebrate Ogun-Onire festival in a more friendly and peaceful manner, and also promote the festival internationally.
He added that the community is ready to work with the government in the development of Ureru groove and others around in order to make the place a tourism sites