The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has urged government and the private sector to support cultural events and festival, noting that it will develop indigenous involvement of Nigerians.
Adams noted that it was sad that government has been reluctant in sponsoring cultural events and festivals, adding that all the cultural activities, including festivals are being funded by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).
He said his new status has helped the various organisations under his leadership
Speaking recently in Lagos during the Yoruba Quiz Competition organised as part of activities for the ongoing Olokun Festival, he said the event was designed to educate the pupils and the guests for them to be proficient in Yoruba language.
“Anybody that loses his or her language and tradition is in bondage and it is dangerous for the future. We have done a lot of injustice to the Yoruba Language, and that has affected us seriously, particularly, in the way we relate with the rest of the world.
“I am always worried by the way we handle the language, however, we need to encourage the use of Yoruba Language in our homes and the schools, especially, from the primary, secondary and to the tertiary institutions.
“We can easily catch them young. I am a living witness to the struggle involving cultural evangelism. The glory we are celebrating today is the gain of what we did more than 15 years ago.
“Apart from Osun Osogbo festival and Eyo, Olokun Festival remains the most celebrated festival in the country. The just concluded Twins Festival in Igbo Ora, Oyo state, where about 2000 twins were celebrated was a good development which must be encouraged,” he said.
About 21 secondary schools participated in this year Yoruba Quiz competition that saw Ilupeju Junior secondary school emerge the winner. Other participants include, Isolo Junior Secondary School, Ojota, Mushin, Atunrase, Army Children school, AUD Junior secondary School, Ikeja Junior College, Unity Junior High School, Gbagada Girls High School, and several others.
In her remarks, Chairman of the Akomolede Yoruba in Lagos State, Mrs. Zainab Olaitan, expressed appreciation to Olokun Festival Foundation for efforts made to change the wrong perception people have about the Yoruba Language.
Deputy Director, education District six ,Lagos Ministry of Education, Mr. Legbeti Paul, said the state government is doing everything to promote indigenous languages, adding that platforms like these will complement government efforts in making Yoruba Language a globally acceptable language in the world.