By: Tunde Ogunmola
The National Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to separate the Ministry of Culture from Ministry of Information headed by Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Adams, observed that the present arrangement of fusing the ministry with ministries of information has caused serious retrogression to the sector and that the situation could get worse if not quickly arrested.
“The government should make ministry of culture independent. They should take it away from Alhaji Lai Mohammed because the arrangement is not working. If we are keen on promoting our culture, the government should as a matter urgency make it independent and give it the necessary attention and funding that it deserves.”he said.
The OPC leader disclosed this in Lagos at Knight Bridge Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikeja, to announce the commencement of this year’s Olokun Festival.
Speaking on the festival, he said: “The Olokun Festival Foundation has become an important tourist and local attraction and this I make bold to say, may not be largely unconnected with the agility and efforts of the organizers of the festival to sustain culture of our people, and their respect for deities.
“It is our collective obligation as a people to ensure that our culture is sustained and Olokun Foundation, through its annual celebration of Olokun Festival among other activities geared towards the promotion of our culture, has in a way, been breaking down the walls of challenge posed by the fear of losing our culture to western education and imported faith that tend to undermine the growth and awareness of our people around our culture”.
“It therefore, gladdens my heart to inform you that the programme started on Tuesday, 4th of October, with a quiz competition, while the Olokun Beauty Pageant holds on Sunday, 8th of October.
Soccer enthusiasts would have the opportunity to savour an entertaining Beach Soccer match on Monday, 23rd of October. This will be followed by a Boat regatta on the morning of 25th of October, as what has been tagged Olosa Gala Night will also hold on the night of the same day.”
He further disclosed that: “The grand finale of the ever entertaining and very competitive Ayo Olopon and Cultural Troupe display will round off activities marking the festival for this year on Thursday, the 26th of October.That same date will see us officially mentioning our new sets of Cultural Ambassadors.
“I’m talking about well celebrated individuals carefully selected to be the face of Olokun Festival Foundation. They will be joining our first Ambassador, Yomi Fash Lanso who has been a source of pride to the foundation. It is with great pleasure to announce the addition of Yoruba actors and actresses, Toyin Adegbola, Fathia Balogun, Doris Simeon, Rammy Shitta Bay, Lambert Dikeh and Mr. Latin. With the preparations made so far by the organizers of the Olokun Festival, I believe that with your usual cooperation, the 2017 edition shall be a grand success.”