By Olawale Jokotoye
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said government would continue to support all efforts aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the nation.
He stated in his congratulatory message at the closing ceremony of the African Drums Festival held in Abeokuta that no fewer than 56 troupes from 18 states of the federation, eight African countries as well as Haiti and Cuba participated at the festival which commenced on Thursday.
The festival was also attended by eminent personalities at the opening ceremony including the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Sole Soyinka, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
The minister said that the festival was important because of its focus on a key aspect of Nigeria’s cultural heritage which had been taken for granted and gradually fading away.
“Drumming is an aspect of our culture that we must not allow to die or allow to be overshadowed by the contemporary strain,” he said.
Mohammed, who commended the Ogun government ” for blazing the trail by hosting the drums festival, ” urged it to ensure the sustenance of the programme, adding that the Federal Government would accord it all necessary support.
He urged other states to ensure that they continued to promote the rich cultural heritage of the nation.
‘I implore the Ogun government to sustain this festival and also urge other states to borrow a leaf from the gateway state by organising their own drums festival culminating in the national drums festival that will bring together all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, ” he said.