Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called for a joint cultural festival between Ogun and Osun states as part of measures to revive culture and tourism in the two states.
Abiodun who spoke when he received his Osun State counterpart, Ademola Adeleke, in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Friday night, said both states share many things in common, hence the need to explore their rich cultural affinity for the benefit of their people.
He noted that such a festival if planned together, would help in deepening the relationship between both states.
“I am happy that you suggested that we should collaborate in the area of culture and tourism. We may have an adire festival in your state this year and then come back to Ogun the following year and I am sure this will deepen our culture.
“As a matter of fact, we are planning a Cultural Festival in collaboration with people from the Caribbean and Brazil and I think this is something we can do together. We can put together a culture and tourism team to work together so that we have an Ogun/Osun Cultural Revival. This can attract foreign tourists to both states,” Prince Abiodun said.
Governor Abiodun who spoke about the potential inherent in the Adire fabric, stated that his administration took several steps, including instituting the culture of wearing the fabric once a week, especially in the government circle and putting “Adire Ok” on Twitter for online purchases, all in an attempt to revive the Adire business which was gradually folding up.
He said: “When I assumed office, this industry was dying just like what you have in Osun because the Chinese were coming to Ogun State to copy the designs, take it to China, make the Adire and Ankara and sell cheaper than those produced by our people, regardless of how beautiful it is.
“No matter what it is, it remains our small business enterprise that employs a lot of our people and it has been so for many generations.”
Prince Abiodun commended Governor Adeleke for his good work in his state and for being a focused and diligent person, even as he recalled the long-existing relationship between them.
He noted that being in different political parties doesn’t matter as politics is just a platform meant to achieve objectives.
“We have found ourselves in different political groupings. Politics is just a platform; it is a platform to achieve our objective.
“I want to commend the good works that you are doing in your state, you are a man of destiny. In a short time, you have done creditably well. You remain a very focused, diligent, deliberate and a very loyal person to your friends, family and your peers,” he said.
Abiodun said his administration is in talks with the Federal Ministry of Works about some roads that are of importance to both states, one of which is a road that allows people to travel to Osun State without passing through Ibadan.
The governor also said that the decision to add the road to the list of roads that are of importance to his administration was in continuation of his administration’s plan to make connectivity with border states easy.
He said: “I also want us to look at other areas that we can cooperate and collaborate for the benefit of our people.
“Yesterday (Thursday), we were discussing with the Federal Ministry of Works about roads that are of priority to us and we are looking at a particular road that has been identified as a very critical road to us because that road starts in Ogun State and goes all the way to Osun State. It will allow us to go to Osun without having to go through Ibadan.”
Speaking earlier, Governor Adeleke expressed delight with the cordial relations between indigenes of both states, stressing the need to explore and exploit the cultural affinity for the good of the people.
Adeleke emphasized the need to promote unity at all times, saying the people of both states are one, hence politics of bitterness should not be used as a means of separation, just as his administration is ready to work with the Ogun State government in the area of cultural reawakening and promotion.