Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland and chief promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF), Iba Gani Adams, has described the continued closure of the Seme border as a disservice to the South West.
Speaking during the 2021 edition of Olokun Festival at Suntan Beach, Badagry, yesterday, he said the country had lost several billions to the closure. He said the argument by the Federal Government it was to curb smuggling of goods and weapons were far from the truth.
The generalisimo of Yorubaland, however, admitted that the spate of insecurity remains the most challenging problem in Nigeria, maintaining that a lot needed to be done to solve the problem.
“The issue of the border closure is a thing of worry. Seme border was shut in August 2019 to curb smuggling of goods and weapons. Closing the border for close to three years is not good for our economy. Closure of Some border when there’s no war is a disservice to the South West. The implication of this prolonged closure on the nation’s economy is huge.”
The guest lecturer, Prof. Ayo Luqman Yusuff, from the Institute of African and Diasporan Studies, University of Lagos, said Yoruba past glory can only be regained with events like the Olokun festival. He said the Yoruba culture, tradition and heritage should be transformed to cater to the spiritual, economic and political needs of the race
Leading over 50 monarchs and Mayors both from Badagry and Republic of Benin at the event, Akran of Badagry, ObaDe-Wheno Aholu, applauded Adams’ determination to sustain the festival for over two decades, insisting that Badagry had benefitted immensely from the annual fiesta. Other guests included traditional rulers, businessmen and women and culture enthusiasts.