Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, said the annual Olokun Festival is organized to promote the culture and heritage of the Yoruba race.
Speaking yesterday at White House Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos, during the “Prayer to God programme”, as part of activities for the commencement of the two- week’s event, Aare Adams expressed his appreciation to God for the grace to sustain the annual event for the past ten years, adding that efforts are on to give the event a face-lift with global appeal.
He appreciated the efforts of all members of the Oodua Peoples Congress(OPC) , especially, members of the Olokun festival planning committee, led by comrade Muyiwa Osinaike, for the zeal to carry on despite all the challenges.
He noted that with the new development, the festival has remained the only festival that has been celebrated consistently for the past one decade, stressing that this year event is packaged to suit the ideals of the organization.
He explained further that there is need to review the Nigerian constitution to advance the cause of continuity in projects meant for growth and development
“We need a constitution that allows longer public office holders to contest and hold office as it is done in France, Canada, and other great countries of the world. That is the spirit of continuity as it is pronounced by the leadership of the OPC.
“For this year event, we are expecting no fewer than 50 prominent Obas from across the country and beyond, particularly from Republic of Benin.We are expecting notable guests from all walks of life and sectors. Therefore, we are here to hand over all our activities for this year event to God. And not only that, we want to tell the world about our various activities and change the wrong impression people have about OPC”.
“For those who don’t know, Olokun is a deity in charge of wealth, therefore, people should be enlighten on the need to promote our culture, tradition and identity, and traditional religion. All these have affected us globally. I was in Germany recently, and I see the development in their cultural values. As far as we are concerned, we don’t want to bastardize our tradition, we don’t want to lose our identity. That is the essence of this annual festival. At the same time, I am appealing to our traditional institution to do everything that is possible to protect our culture and tradition.”
Other programmes lined up for this year edition of the Olokun Festival include, Press Conference, Yoruba Quiz Competition,Beauty Pageant competition, Beach Soccer, Ayo Olopon competition, Boat Regatta,Festival Float, Olosa Night and the grand finale which comes up on Wednesday October 24 at the Suntan Beach, Badagry.
Apart from all members of the planning committee present at the event , prominent guests, including Muslim and Christian clerics were also in attendance. Members of OPC, including members of the National Executive Council, (NEC), National Coordinatimg Council, (NCC) were all in attendance.