By Adekunle Williams
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has urged Nigerians to embrace, appreciate and showcase their cultural values home and abroad.
Ogunwusi said this at the inauguration of the Erelu Yeye Odua (E.Y.O.) Cultural Renaissance Centre on Sunday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event organised by the Erelu Yeye Odua Foundation, featured a Christmas Carol and Gala Night.
Ogunwusi, who was the Grand Royal Father of the ceremony said that most Nigerians had lost their cultural values to those of the western world.
According to him, most Nigerians no longer appreciate their cultural values as it was in the past.
“We have rich culture, heritage, norms and values that we can market to the outside world but most Nigerians now prefer western values to their culture.
“They have lost their cultural values to the western world and this is not good for the image of the country,” he said.
The traditional ruler urged the Federal Government to adequately fund the culture and tourism sector to reawaken the country’s traditional values.
He also implored government to encourage private investors to fully tap into the nation’s rich cultural resources.
Ogunwusi said that adequate funding of the sector would attract more investors to the art, culture and tourism world.
The traditional ruler also urged the present government to empower youths to explore and harness the culture, art and tourism potential of the country.
He said that if the federal government could properly fund the sector, it would in turn raise government’s revenue and help to address the nation’s unemployment challenges.
Speaking, Archbishop Adewale Martins of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, thanked the foundation for creating the centre, saying that it would further create wealth for the youth.
Martins said that the Christmas Carol was significant as people of diverse religion, traditional rulers and other factors could sit side by side to recognise the grace of God.
Also, Chief Abiola Dosunmu, Founder, Erelu Yeye Odua Foundation, said that one of the reasons the foundation was created was to address such controversy relating to history, culture, arts, lifestyle and other issues about Africans.
Dosunmu said that the new centre would focus on research, empowerment, education, training and promotion of culture and languages.
NAN reports that other dignitaries at the event are the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero; the Lagos State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, among others. (NAN)
Edited by Folasade Adeniran