About 27 historic African Diasporas witnessed and participated emotionally, spiritually, and physically at the 4th Edition of the Diaspora Door of Return Festival held on Saturday in Badagry, Lagos.
The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NIDCOM), and Initiator of Badagry Door of Return, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated that the key thing is, “to see Children and great grand Children of our ancestors return to their roots to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country “. She added that, “the whole of Badagry is happy to receive you. We want to open Nigeria to the world through our brothers and sisters whose fore-fathers were taken away into captivity as slaves”, as we open the 4th Door of Return, we believe, Nigeria has too many treasures and history that should be opened up to the world. The Returnees want to invest in Nigeria. They want to build a Diaspora plaza in Badagry”.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, represented by the Permanent Secretary, pledged his total support and endorsement for the success of the Festival, promising to make Badagry the centerpiece of tourism, recreation and relaxation in Nogeria.
The Grand Finale started with a boat ride through the Slave route to the Point of No Return, culminating at the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, reminding them of the excruciating experiences of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The Returnees returned as Kings and Queens as the Door was symbolically opened to them as sons and daughters of their homeland, Nigeria.
The Badagry Diaspora Door of Return started in 2017 through the initiative of Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Co-Initiator Dr Babatunde Mesewaku. The 2023 edition makes it the 4th.
It is aimed at galvanizing and reconnecting the historic African Diaspora to their roots-homeland, as well as give true perspectives to perceived stereotypes about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.