The Aare Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has called on Southwest governors to invest in the promotion of Yoruba culture and harness its tourist potential for economic growth and global recognition.
Adams said that the promotion of the culture would turn Yoruba states to tourist destinations and thereby enhance rapid social and economic development of the area.
The Aare, who made the call at the Grand Finale of `Omituntun’ Pacesetter Festival of Arts and Culture, tagged ‘Asa wa, Ipile wa,’ maintained that Yoruba was rich in culture and tradition.
The festival, held at the Cultural Centre, Mokola, Ibadan, was organised by the Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
He described the cultural festival as significance which would help in the promotion of peace and tranquility in the state and the nation as a whole.
Adams urged the Oyo State Government to develop and maintain all the existing tourist destinations in the state for economic growth and global recognition.
“We are fast losing our identity, even our children, it’s becoming difficult for them to speak Yoruba language, and it’s becoming difficult to identify with our culture.
“Instead of them to identify with our culture they promote Western culture, they have pride in it and this is very dangerous.
“We need to start working on the promotion of culture and turn it to tourism potential and upgrade our destination so that the generation that is coming can be proud,” Adams said.
Earlier, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatunbosun, said that the motive of the cultural festival was for the rejuvenation and promotion of culture, talent hunt through cultural competition.
According to him, it is also aimed to give Yoruba culture the recognition it deserves worldwide.
“I realised that the last time they had any cultural festival was about 10 years before I came to office, which means throughout eight years of the last administration they didn’t do anything like this.
“I said that we should do something and we wanted to do it last year but unfortunately it was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns.
“This year, I said whatever will happen I must do it. This one is unique in the sense that this will be the first time that we are having a festival of culture and tourism in Oyo State,” Olatunbosun said.
The festival featured cultural display by various groups, associations, local councils in different areas of development.
Some of the participants carted away prizes in various games and competitions include `Ayo olopon’, drama, masquerade, music and dance, poetry and chant rendition.