19th June, 2016
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described Africa as the root of humanity and globalization, which were later exported to the rest of the world.
Obasanjo stated this when he received members of the Centre for Black and Civilization (CBAAC) of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, led by the Director General (DG), Dr. Anikwe Ferdinand at his Abeokuta residence in Ogun State.
He promised the delegation that he would mobilise support for the 40th anniversary celebration of the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) as a way of reviving the continent’s mass and diverse cultural heritage.
Obasanjo said the past might have eluded the continent, but the future should not.
Obasanjo, who was the Head of State in 1977 when the last edition of FESTAC was held in Lagos, Nigeria, after the first in Dakar, Senegal in 1966, lamented that 40 years after, “we are yet to have the third. That is the more reason we must take the lead again to celebrate 40 years after we held the last one.”
He continued, “This brings happy memory and nostalgic feelings. I think it is very thoughtful on the part of the management to put some events in video. I want to congratulate the group for coming alive with this, which is coming 40 years after it was held.”
Obasanjo who watched about 30 minutes documentary on FESTAC’77, said, “it will ginger our people to be proud of showing the world the culture of Africa and the black man.
“It will show the world that humanity starts from Africa. That migration starts from Africa before entering Middle East, Asia, Europe and cross to the Americas and Australia. We are the centre of the world and we must be proud of it.
“We started the process of globalization and we exported humanity to the rest of the world. But, the past has eluded us, the future must not evade from our land.
“I am totally supporting this anniversary which will be coinciding with my 80th birthday anniversary”, Obasanjo declared.
The former President also promised to facilitate the coming of past African leaders to the country for the anniversary.
The CBAAC Director-General had earlier explained that the Centre came to intimate the former President, “who incidentally was the Head of State in 1977, of the 40th anniversary of FESTAC ’77. And as you can see, we got his blessings.
“Since the FESTAC ’77, past African leaders have not look at the direction of hosting cultural festival of such magnitude. We only use sports to show our culture since we realize that it is the only unifying factor.
“We did not tap from from the experience of FESTAC ’77 and we believe that it is this 40th year anniversary that can allow us to bring Africa together once again like we did in 1977”, the DG stated.