In a gathering of who is who in Badagry Local Government Area, which took place at the local government Secretariat yesterday, Akran of Badagry, His Royal Majesty Oba, De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi 1, OFR, declared the famous Badagry festival open.
He said civilization and religion had immensely affected our culture and this “has led to decadence in our moral and cultural values that has grossly affected our youth. This festival is in remembrance of our ancestral inheritance. We must not let it die. We do not know the value of what we have.
Foreigners come down here to appreciate us. He implored the citizens to be law abiding all through the festival, reminding them that the world is watching. Delivering the keynote address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman (SSA), Apata Nunayon, unveiled the theme of the festival titled RECONNECTING WITH THE ROOT.
It is geared towards reconnecting our people both at home and in the diaspora. Badagry is the craddle of civilisatoin in Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, “the festival can be compared to the Nottinghill Carnival in London, Panafest in Ghana, Root revival in the Gambia and the famous Brazilian Carnival. Take a trip round the town, anything that has to do with civilization has its first kind in Badagry.”
The Chairman of the occasion, Husitode Dosu said Governor Raji Fashola once told him that he is the richest council chairman and that the rich cultural values that abound in Badagry are yet to be exploited.
He said “never in history of this festival has the planing taken this shape. My administration decided to bring everyone together irrespective of our party or religious differences to give this festival a befitting place in history so that even when we are gone, our children will remember us for bequeating them a cultural legacy.
“We have so much cultural and heritage sites that have turned the city into a tourism town. If we harness it properly, it will rake into our economy a lot of foreign exchange.”
He called on investors to take advantage of the tourism and peaceful ambience of the town and urged the Federal Government to repair the Seme/Badagry expressway which is in deplorable condition. A representative of AREFO, one of the organisers, Yahaya Ndu, said they are putting everything in place to bring all the heads of every religious group in Nigeria to attend the festival.
He said a lot of foreigners have indicated their interest to participate in the festival.