Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has urged Africans to be united for global advancement through conscious re-enactment of cultural values and beliefs.
Obasanjo made the call during a visit by the Director-General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Ms Oluwabunmi Amao, on Monday at his residence in Abeokuta.
The former president who reiterated his support for the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Festival for Arts and Culture (FESTAC”77), said that the festival was a beautiful one and there is great need for pan-Africanism to be kept 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 recognised overseas, more openings would be paved easily for several other Africans to preach their creativities at a global level,” he said.
Obasanjo recounted with nostalgia the events of FESTAC ’77, 45 years ago as the Head of State to the host country, Nigeria.
He commended CBAAC for doing an excellent work in keeping the spirit of Pan-Africanism alive by revisiting the glorious era of Nigeria epitomised by FESTAC”77.
He said he yearned for future celebrations that would bring the black and African people together as he was of belief that the commemoration would do that in so many ways than envisaged.
Consequently, he suggested partnership and collaborations among countries, international cultural organisations, especially the African Union and other stakeholders as a way of recreating the festival.
He expressed enormous appreciation to CBAAC for always keeping the memories of the FESTAC”77 alive through their various programmes.
He said he was glad that FESTAC”77 had now become a part of the African history that can never be erased.
He noted that he had observed that the festival was and is still the best Pan-African gathering ever, even though it was held 45 years ago.