By Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
The governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on Tuesday confirmed that United Kingdom, Belgium, China, France and Trinidad and Tobago including 21 African countries and 26 states in Nigeria have confirmed their participation in the 2019 African Drum Festival holding at the state capital, Abeokuta from next week Thursday to Saturday.
Gov. Amosun stated this during world press conference held in Abeokuta to commemorate the 4th edition of the annual festival with the theme “Drumming for the future”.
The governor said the festival which had come to stay was conceptualized in 2016 to celebrate the significance of drum which cuts across different tribes and tongues all over the world.
He said the festival had indeed been a veritable platform of using culture and tourism to drive the economy of the state just like developed countries of the world such as Brazil and United Kingdom have been doing with Rio de Janeiro Festival and Nottingham Carnival among others.
The governor said this year edition of the annual festival would be better and bigger and that as fulfilment of his promise made during last year edition, a 10’000 capacity amphitheatre which would henceforth serve as venue for the cultural event has just been completed at the Central Business District of the state, Oke Ilewo, Abeokuta.
Gov Amosun explained that “ this year African Drum Festival will be very colourful and earthshaking because of many activities that have been lined up such as launching of our Adire logo, fashion parade, train ride from Iju in Lagos to Laderin, Abeoluta led by Prof Wole Soyinka, unveiling of Ransome Kuti Legacy Museum, there will also be window of opportunities for our young ones to display their talents, it will be a very exciting scene”.
Speaking earlier, Chairman, Local Organising Committee of this year festival and Deputy governor of the state, Chief Mrs Yetunde Onanuga lauded Gov. Amosun for the cultural initiative as it had helped to put the state on world map of tourism and culture.
Chief Mrs Onanuga said the festival provided world stage for people to come around to showcase their dexterity in drumming and celebrate the diverse culture of the world.
She disclosed that 71 independent drummers have also signified their interest to participate in the yearly festival calling for the support and cooperation of all for the success of the programme.
Other dignitaries at the press briefing were the Secretary to the state government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, former Minister for Mines and Steel, Alhaji Sarafadeen Tunji Ishola, Senator Iyabode Anisulowo, Head of Service, Engr. Lanre Bisiriyu among others.