Former President Obasanjo calls for more Cultural Initiatives to advance national growth

Tolulope Ayileka

“For Africa to achieve certain goals, the glory and beauty inherent in their different Cultures must be dynamically harnessed and exported to different countries of the world.”

This statement was made by Former President and Elder Statesman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during a recent courtesy visit by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC).

The visit took place at the Obasanjo Boulevard in Abeokuta and was led by the Director-General, Hon. Olubunmi Amao, and the visitors were personally received and hosted by the Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

According to Hon Amao, the visit was necessary as a means of appreciating and officially recognizing the former Head of State as the Grand Patron of Festac 77.

It was also to inform him and seek his support in regards to the 45th anniversary of FESTAC77 as organized by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization ( CBAAC).

She further stated while addressing the Ex-President that, ‘We are here to invite you to the event and solicit your support through your wide and far reaching network.

We are optimistic of an extensive participation and we believe your involvement would make a huge difference in the eventual execution of the programme’.

The Grand Patron of the Festival, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in response expressed appreciation towards the team for honouring him for an event which took place 45 years ago when he was the Head of State.

The Former President commended the efforts of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) for their efforts in Promoting, Showcasing and Appraising the culture of Nigeria and African in general.

Chief Obasanjo described the first Festac 77 Celebration as a golden era for Nigeria and her cultural heritage. He also stated that “the festival was and is still the best Pan African gathering ever, even though it was held 45 years ago”.

Chief Obasanjo also called for more celebrations and cultural events which according to him would bring Black and African people all around together and also promote the African country positively to the International Society.

In the same vein, he advised the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization ( CBAAC) to seek collaboration and partnership with International Cultural Organizations especially the African Union (AU) as a means of spreading the word about the Festival beyond Nigeria’s borders and giving the International community a chance to experience the beauty and colour of Festac 77.

According to him, FESTAC 77 is a part of the African history that can never be erased.

As the meeting drew to a close, the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization ( CBAAC) team presented the Former President with a cropped life size picture frame of himself as a Lieutenant General during the first ever FESTAC’77 that took place in 1945.
It was accompanied with ten volumes colloquium on “The Arts, Culture and Civilization of Black and African People”.

Chief Obasanjo amidst smiles appreciated the CBAAC Director-General and her team and jokingly stated ‘Thank you so much CBAAC, I must put this in a very conspicuous area where everyone would see that I was once a General’.

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