Lagos State government has restated its commitment to continue providing the necessary support to traditional institutions in the state with a view to promoting indigenous culture and tradition.
Speaking during this year’s edition of the annual seminar organised by the Association of African Traditional Religion of Nigeria and Overseas (AATREN), tagged: “Breaking Stereotypes: Challenging Misconceptions about Africans’ Tradition and Beliefs”, held at Ilasan, Ikate-Elegushi Kingdom in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Oloruntoyin Atekoja noted that as Africans, our tradition and culture are integral part of who we are as Africans and we must do all we can to protect and sustain them.
Atekoja added that many Africans have now realised the need to propagate their indigenous traditions and culture, hence the reason many educated elites and other notable individuals are now coming out to identify with traditional events.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented at the event by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture (LSCAC), Mr. Idowu Johnson, stated that the Ministry pays special attention to the promotion of our culture and tradition through the activities of the LSCAC which are aimed at driving the tourism sector by promoting the cultural and traditional festivals and sites in State.
On the activities of LSCAC in promoting culture and tradition, Johnson disclosed that the Agency has concluded plans to engage the youth in enhancing our rich traditional and cultural heritage through its tourism master plan which will involve the identification and activation of key heritage sites, digitising cultural festivals in Lagos and continuous consultation with stakeholders to chart a way forward for the promotion of tradition and culture in Lagos.
His words, “As a sign of commitment to the task ahead, we have resolved to be active partners in progress in the sustenance, upgrading and promotion of various festivals and heritage sites as well as events such as this to promote our tradition”.
The CEO further assured the participants of the government support and partnership in ensuring that our traditional and cultural heritage does not go into extinction but to make them attractive to the youth and the coming generation.
On the request of the Opemoluwa of Ikateland and the President of AATREN, High Chief Ifasegun Elegushi, who reiterated calls for August 20 to be declared as “Isese Day” and a work-free day, Johnson assured that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is not insensitive to the yearnings of traditional religion worshippers and he is making consultations on their request.
The LSAC Boss also seized the occasion to appreciate the efforts of participants, traditional rulers, traditionalists, cultural enthusiasts and others for upholding the heritage of our fore-bearers, urging them not to relent in serving as competent custodians of our tradition and culture.