'Emphasising our culture will promote tourism' - KWASU researcher

Mr. Oluremi Adebayo while speaking at the Olojo Festival Corporate Forum said that tourism in Nigeria can generate so much more than it is now.

Ooni of Ife and other dignitaries at the event

The event was for the Ooni of Ife to unveil the Olojo festival and celebrate octogenarians whom he invited and hosted in Lagos.

Mr. Oluremi Adebayo, a researcher at Kwara State University and Director of Heritage Sites and Monuments, National Museum and Monuments, was the guest speaker at the event.

When addressing the audience, he admonished Nigerians from the South-West. telling them to never allow their culture diminish.

Festivals are part of the cultural heritage of Yorubas and the tradition must be kept alive as it can't diminish, even if crude oil does.

He said, "Nigeria is crying, the oil is diminishing, the oil will diminish but your culture will never diminish. What we have, we must hold. There are so many festivals in Yoruba land that can be turned around within the Yoruba region, within Nigeria to boost the economy."

He said that the Yorubas should stop shying away from their duties and rally round the traditional rulers to project their unique culture.

He continued by saying, "Nigeria is in distress because everybody is running after oil, oil is in the soil, but culture is on the surface. Whatever is higher will always be higher and whatever is lower will always be lower. If our culture is higher why don't we project our culture? Every community in Nigeria has its culture, there are so many countries of the world that do not have oil, they rely on their culture to promote tourism."

"The only way we can promote tourism as a nation is to emphasise our culture, there are more than 200 deities being worshipped in Ile-Ife but how many are left, most of the cultures are deteriorating. We have not been decorating them because of religion and education, we need to look back and see what we have lost, it is what we have lost that will bring back the glory."

He ended by saying that if only 10 percent of Nigeria's population attend the Olojo festival, it would be a worthy investment for the country.

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