GOVERNORS of Oyo, Imo, Kastina and Balyesa states, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Rochas Okorocha, Aminu Bello Masari represented respectively, Seriake Dickson, and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday, graced the opening of the African Drums Festival, in Ogun State.
The festival being hosted by the Ogun State government is the second in the series and is having participating troupes from different parts of Africa, the Republic of Cuba and United States of America.
Among the dignitaries were the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and the Olowu of Owu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu.
The State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Muyiwa Oladipo in his welcome address said that the “African Drums Festival” brought together participants from different African countries and states in the Nigeria so as to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the different ethnic groups in the continent.
He noted that the African history is incomplete without drums because the social and entertainment life of Africans is centred on drum.
In his goodwill message, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, said the festival would rejuvenate and sustain the traditional culture.
The monarch added that the festival would continue to create opportunities for the youths to showcase their God-given talents and dexterity on different kinds of drums.
“The African Drums Festival, a tourism haven and a boost to our unity as a people in Yorubaland, and Nigeria in particular for drums have continued to unite and add glamour to our lifestyle from time to time immemorial,” he further said.
Mohammed represented by the Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Comrade Tar Ukoh, commended the State government for organising the event.
He emphasised that no festival is complete without drums in the continent of Africa, and that the festival would promote tourism development in the country.
Soyinka in his goodwill message said Ogun is known for recording many first in all areas of human endeavours.
The governor of Balyesa described drums as central to African culture and urged other governors to promote the best of their people.
The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said the festival was put together to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Africans through drums.
He noted that the festival would further strengthen the bond unity among states of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
Amosun said drums are communication tools among different tribes.