The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land, Chief Gani Adams, has vowed that despite the lack of sponsorship and other hurdles, nothing would stop him from hosting the annual Olokun Festival.
At a meeting in Lagos, today, as part of the activities lined up for this year’s cultural programme, he explained why he decided to kickstart the celebration with prayers and praises to God.
The chief promoter of the festival, who is also the founder of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), began to exalt God’s name immediately stepped to the podium to deliver his speech.
For about ten minutes, he, joined by the audience, sang praises to his Maker for His goodness and mercies. The feasibly excited Adams intermittently in-between his speech, and to the admiration of all, led other members of Olokun Foundation and the audience to dance. An unbridled excitement best described the atmosphere.
He prayed for God to continue to shower His blessings upon Lagos, South West and Nigeria as a whole, which was followed with resounding amen from the audience.
Lamenting that he has not received any support from government in the last 16 years that he started celebrating the Olokun deity, but he described himself as a long runner, who is not easily moved by obstacles in whatever he does.
“We are not organising the event up to the standard that we envisaged because of the economic situation we are faced with. The state government supposed to be partnering with us for the fact this is a state festival. It is the only festival that has been consistent since we started in 2002. Even when I was in jail, it held.
“These are parts of our struggles. We spend our personal money and sacrifice our time and efforts for the good of all Nigerians. But we will continue to promote our cultural heritage. Through our activities that are widely reported, we are telling the world that Nigeria is peaceful for foreigners to come and invest. But we will not want the Lagos government to take it over and relegate us to the back bench.
“We cannot deny the economic benefits that our host community, Lagos and Nigeria have been enjoying since we started the festival some years ago. Apart from the spiritual blessings, it has brought tourist attraction to Lagos,” Chief Adams said.
He said that the festival would have been abandoned for long if not for God’s mercies and divine provision. He stressed that God deserves to be praised for giving him and other members of the group the resources and time for forge on.
The live band kicked off the show by rendering energetic praises to God almighty. They were joined by the audience.
A number of clerics from the Christian and Islamic religions were on ground to pray for the success of the festival.