FG to list Ojude Oba as UNESCO approved festival

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The Federal Government says it has plans to list the annual Ojude Oba Festival as one of the festivals backed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The Minister of Culture, Arts, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa-Musawa, said this on Tuesday, at the 2024 edition of the festival at Awujale’s pavilion, Ijebu-Ode.

The minister, represented by the Director of Cultural Agencies and Heritage, Dr Ben Ugo Anama, noted that the annual festival was in tune with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

She said the mandate of the ministry was to make revenue generation from tourism to be over $100 billion by 2030.

The minister described the annual festival as a platform for fostering the unity of the country as well as one of the country’s tourism potentialities.

Musa-Musawa said it could be tapped into to diversify the economy from oil and generate more resources in the nation.

She noted that in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the ministry would always collaborate with stakeholders to promote, preserve, and protect the rich cultural heritage of our nation.

The minister added that the ministry would ensure it reached its enviable height according to the vision for the ministry tagged “Destination 2030”.

“This vision considers the potentialities in arts, culture, and creative economy, in terms of its ability to create economic expansion.

“Our ambitious goals are predicated on this drive, which is capable of yielding billions and increasing the Gross Domestic Product by the year 2030,” she said.

She said that the Presidential Renewed Hope Agenda, especially for the ministry demonstrated unwavering commitment to diversify the economy and move away from the country’s over-dependence on oil revenue.

Musa-Musawa rejoiced with the sons and daughters of Ijebuland over the success of the festival and the good image it had given the country over the years.

She said that she had observed that the festival had not received any elements of UNESCO approval as one of its approved festivals.

The Minister said that the status of a festival like Ojude-Oba, with its profound impact on the tourism sector deserves to be listed by the international body.

She, however, vowed to activate all the processes to get this done without further delay.

Also Speaking at the event, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, hailed Ojude-Oba and described it as a festival that had given Ijebuland and the people of Ogun a distinct identity.

Abiodun said that the festival had also become a catalyst for the development of Ijebuland and this underscored the essence of preserving the rich cultural heritage.

The governor, while rejoicing with the sons and daughters of Ijebuland over this year’s celebration, promised to partner with the Federal Government to develop the festival and make it a global tourist attraction and destination.

He added that the theme of the celebration was quite apt, as unity and harmony remained the bedrock of any thriving society.

He called for a more united force to lift the country out of its present woes.

NAN reports that the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the chief host of the event, was also on the seat to receive over 100 age grade groups of males and females (Regberegbes), decked in attractive and impressive attire.

They came around to pay annual homage to the traditional ruler.

The horse riders, who were from the warrior families in Ijebuland, were also on hand to thrill the fun seekers with various acrobatic displays with their horses.

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