By Olaoluwakitan Babatunde
The Royal Father of Ikolaje Idiroko, an International border town in Ogun State, Oba John Olakunle Ojo has called on African leaders to use culture in uniting the people.
Oba Ojo who made the call at the grand finale of the annual Ojude Oba Ikolaje Idiroko said the culture of Africans was unique and could be used to foster peace and unity.
He said: â€œAfricans across international borders have similarities in cultural appellation and practices that can be harnessed for the promotion of peace and harmony, thereby jettisoning vices and bad representation from the foreign media.
â€œGeographical delineation in Africa which was the creation of colonial masters tends to divide us along border line, but our culture and belief remains same.â€ He therefore called on leaders to use the uniqueness in addressing various challenges facing the continent.
In his address at the event, a prominent son of Ikolaje Idiroko, and guest lecturer, Sola Ibirinde, highlighted the importance of Ikolaje Idiroko festival as an avenue for showcasing the uniqueness of Ikolaje Idiroko, a foremost International border town that connects Nigeria with other African Countries.
He said: â€œContrary to the perception of people that Ikolaje Idiroko, being a borderline of two countries, there is the negative perception that we will be perpetrating criminal activities, hence the need to prove critics wrong that the location of the town on the map is not an attraction for unlawful practises.â€
While pleading with Nigerian government to key into the programme by being active participants in all the programmes, Ibirinde said the tourism potentials of Idiroko and its people could be harnessed towards socio-economic development of the state.
â€œWith what happened in the last one week, it shows that our youths could be mobilised to contribute their quota towards making Nigeria great again,â€ Ibirinde added.
While appreciating the contributions of the Oniko of Ikolaje Idiroko in ensuring that peace reigns in his domain, Ibirinde called on all sons and daughters of the town to remain united in ensuring that the town remains peaceful, adding that there couldnâ€™t be any development without peace.
The weeklong activities which climaxed with the crowning of Sarah Itunuoluwa as Miss Integration Beauty Queen also witnessed high turn-out of sons and daughters of Ikolaje Idiroko from home and diaspora. Participants for the beauty peagent were drawn from Republic of Benin and Nigeria.