The Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos, Abiola Dosunmu has said that the controversy over ownership of Lagos will soon be put to rest with her new initiative.
Dosunmu, who is also the Erelu Yeye Oodua, stated this at a briefing on the inauguration of Erelu Yeye Oodua Cultural Renaissance Centre. The event will be held on December 3 in Lagos.
She said one of the reasons her foundation instituted the new centre was to address such controversy relating to history, culture, arts, lifestyle and other issues about Africans.
Erelu Dosunmu disclosed that the new centre will focus on research, empowerment, education, training and promotion of culture and languages.
Also, she said, the Centre will unveil a book to put an end to the controversy on who owns Lagos.
She said the issue of who founded Lagos should be based on documented evidence and not hearsay or sentiments.
According to Erelu Dosunmu, “First of all, I have spoken about this issue several times. And you see, if people refuse to use common sense and do research why do you waste your time?
“All these things that have been said have relics and proofs for you to be able to bring the story to the right perspective.
“Everybody is talking from different corners of their mouths, especially those who don’t even know anything about it.
‘I have 300 years of historical facts’
“How old are they? How many of them who are kings today actually grew up within an environment where they could be impacted with the authentic history of their people?
“I became Erelu in my early twenties. And I was sitting with 80 and 90-year-old men. Those men had at least another 90 years of experience and narrated verbatim.
“So, already, 200 years of verbatim story, I got it from the source. I am almost 80 and I have acquired another century of information myself.
“If I say anything, I am saying it from at least 300 years of verbatim fact.
“So, some people talk from here, another one from there. Who are they? What was the point of their entry? Some of them, maybe started imbibing the culture and traditions five years ago and they make themselves authorities.
“Hopefully that’s one of the things we will be unveiling here at the centre,” she said.
Speaking further, Erelu Dosunmu said it is important for the government and critical stakeholders to collaborate. She said this will increase people’s consciousness to promote their culture’s potential to the world.
She said the Oodua Cultural Renaissance Centre would be training grounds for languages and promotion of local cuisine and arts. In the long run, this will build talent and the economy, she posited.
“Nigeria is blessed and rich in culture and the sector can add enormous value to the national GDP if well harnessed.
“Government must ensure continued support for individuals and groups working to scale up the enhancement of our cultural heritage,” Erelu Dosunmu added.
Credit: Vanguard News Nigeria