Former President Olusegun Obasanjo urged Africans to unite for global progress by consciously reenacting indigenous traditions and ideals.
Obasanjo made the request during a Monday visit to his Abeokuta residence by the Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Ms. Oluwabunmi Amao.
This information is provided in a statement issued by Amao.
Reiterating his support for the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Festival for Arts and Culture (FESTAC”77), the former president stated that the festival was beautiful and that pan-Africanism must be maintained alive. ”There is need for Africans to be united for global advancement. This should be the essence of the forthcoming festival, meant to commemorate the 45th anniversary of FESTAC”77.
” 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.
” When these cultures are fully recognized overseas, more openings would be paved easily for several other Africans to preach their creativities at a global level,” he said.
Obasanjo recalled with emotion the events of FESTAC ’77, 45 years ago, while serving as the Head of State for the host nation, Nigeria.
He praised CBAAC for doing an outstanding job of preserving the spirit of Pan-Africanism by reliving the beautiful era of Nigeria exemplified by FESTAC’77.
He expressed a desire for future festivities that will unite black and African people, believing that the remembrance would do so in more ways than anticipated.
As a result, he urged that the festival be recreated through partnerships and cooperation between countries, international cultural organizations, particularly the African Union, and other stakeholders.
He expressed immense gratitude to CBAAC for preserving the memories of FESTAC’77 through their numerous programs.
He expressed his happiness that FESTAC’77 had become an indelible part of African history.
Even though it occurred 45 years ago, he stated that the festival was and is the greatest Pan-African gathering ever.
Earlier, Amao stated that the visit was necessary in order to inform the former president of CBAAC’s preparations to commemorate the 45th anniversary of FESTAC’77.
” We are here to invite you to the event and solicit for 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 program,” she said.
During FESTAC’77, Amao gave a cropped life-size photograph of Chief Obasanjo, who was a Lieutenant General at the time, together with a ten-volume colloquium on “The Arts, Culture, and Civilization of Black and African People” by the CBAAC director-general and other members of her delegation.