Nigeria’s Oyo State Government kicked off the maiden edition of the Samodun Festival, with Governor Abiola Ajimobi expressing commitment to the promotion of the culture and tradition of the Yoruba race.
Governor Ajimobi, with state officials, Doing the Ajumorin walk
The festival, which will be held yearly, began with the “Ajumorin Walk’’ involving Governor Ajimobi, members of the state executive council, local government chairmen, heads of boards, parastatals and extra-ministerial departments, as well as popular actors and actresses, took off from the Government House through Oje, Beere to Mapo Hall in Ibadan.
The governor, while addressing the mammoth crowd at Mapo Hall, said the Samodun Festival was one of the efforts of the state government at reminding the people of the great past.
Ajimobi said, “In the promotion, advancement and propagation of our culture, the world will realize that Africa did not just stumble on a heritage; we have always had a great heritage.
“Indeed, comparatively, we will realize that even though our fathers could not read and write, they were greater doctors, physicists, paleontologists and even political scientists, far more than what obtains in our so-called modernity and civilization”.
The governor added that the festival was aimed at advertising the Yoruba culture, stressing that this would be done through showcasing the language, sense of dressing, festivals, folklores, traditional mode of recreation and a host of the corpus of livelihood worthy of the praises of this generation.
“Being the beginning of another year, especially the year that this government has begun to put an icing on the cake of all its developmental projects, there is no better way to begin other than invoking the ancient prayers of our forefathers that we will all live to see the maturation of all these projects by the next calendar year,’’ he stated.
Governor Ajimobi recalled the visit the leaders of his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) made to the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwole Adeyemi III Wednesday, adding that the royal father “took us on a shuttle into our past as Yoruba people and we were very proud of our noble ancestry’’.
“If you were with us at the palace yesterday (Wednesday), you would be proud to be a Yorubaman and from Oyo State, which is the cradle of the Yoruba civilization. You would now wonder why European historians and theorists condemn Africa as lacking in history, architecture and efficient system of administration.
“Unfortunately for us all, we have been boxed into believing that our inherited system and culture are of lesser texture to that of the Europeans. This is part of the mental slavery that our people have been subjected to for centuries,’’ the governor said.
He also told the crowd that the urban renewal programme of his administration which he said had been yielding results, was not aimed at unnecessarily inflicting pains on the people but to make life worth living and to improve the aesthetics of the state.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi pose with ANTP members
The governor said that his administration would continue to execute laudable projects that would have direct impact on the lives of the people of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the actors and actresses, former ANTP President, Prince Jide Kosoko, commended the Ajimobi administration for organizing the festival, saying it was a further demonstration of its commitment to the promotion of Yoruba culture.
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