Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Chief Gani Adams, has lamented that the continued closure of the Seme border would remain a disfavor to the South-west.
Speaking during the 2021 edition of Olokun Festival, which was held at Suntan Beach Badagry, Adams expressed his displeasure at the closure insisting that the country had lost several billions of Naira to the closure.
He disclosed that though the federal government had said the closure was meant to curb smuggling of goods and weapons, yet the closure did not apply to the northern part of the country where insurgency and use of illegal weapons and smuggling are rife.
Adams said that despite the closure, insecurity has remained the most challenging problem in Nigeria.
“The issue of the border closure is a thing of worry. Seme border was shut in August 2019 to curb smuggling of goods and weapons.
He said: “Without war, Seme border closure is a disservice to the South-west. The implication of this prolonged closure on the nation’s economy is huge. Therefore, I urge the federal government to urgently open the Seme border considering its importance to Nigeria and Nigerians.”
He also affirmed the need to inject spiritual contents into festivals and cultural events, declaring that the introduction of Arugba Aje Olokun in the activities of the Olokun Festival grand finale is to fulfill the spiritual purposes of the annual fiesta.
“It is a reflection of the sanctity of the Olokun spirit and not an ordinary creation of human thinking.
“It is also the originating symbol of the Olokun spirit that creates wealth, peace and tranquility that Badagry and its environs is enjoying till date.”
The Akran of Badagry, Oba De-Wheno Aholu, in his remarks, applauded Iba Gani Adams’ determination in sustaining the festival for over two decades, insisting that Badagry had, for a very long time, benefited immensely from the annual fiesta.
Meanwhile, the Guest Lecturer, Professor Ayo Luqman Yusuff, from the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies, University of Lagos, in his lecture, said Yoruba past glory could only be regained with events like the Olokun Festival.
Yusuff said that the Yoruba culture, tradition and heritage should be transformed to cater to the spiritual, economic and political needs of the race.
He said: “With our strengths, Yoruba remained a factor in Nigeria, and there is nothing good that we cannot achieve with our culture and tradition. Therefore, I urge all and sundry to work towards sustaining those cultural heritage.
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