The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has called on Africans to embrace their cultural heritage as a tool for development.
Oba Ogunwusi made the call while speaking at the Annual Aje Festival (Wealth Festival) in Ile Ife, Osun State.
According to him, the promotion of culture encourages unity which is important for development in all aspects of life.
The Ooni is unhappy that despite the diversity of the Nigerian culture, the government is not doing enough to explore the opportunities inherent in the development of culture and heritage.
“There is no nation that will grow without culture and heritage, go and find out; all developed nations in the world decided to put their heritage, culture and tradition as number one. But we have jettisoned our heritage and culture. Both of them are stronger than religion, they should be number one,” he said.
“We have a very diverse culture in Nigeria and common ancestral roots as Africans. Our culture is the only way forward for growth and development. It is unfortunate, the government is not paying attention to it as they used to.”
He lamented that since Festac 77, 41 years ago, there hasn’t been a festival of that calibre.
“The Largest gathering of the entire black race happened in 1977 in Nigeria; that’s over 40 years ago. The way forward for the entire black race is to continue to uphold our culture and heritage and that is what we are doing in Ife land we are very proud of it,” he said.
“Our faith still stands and nothing can shake it but our culture must be allowed to thrive.”