Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima has said the traditional institutions and its leaders are at the top of the Federal Government’s list of priorities in the country’s bid to navigate the complexities of its diversity.
He noted that the nation’s diversity should be a source of strength and not of division and urged Nigerians to keep imbibing the lessons firmly fixed in the country’s cultural tapestry.
The Vice President, who spoke on Saturday during the 37th Annual Akesan Festival in Iperu Remo, Ogun State, acknowledged that Nigeria’s noble traditions served as telling reminders of the origins and enduring identities of its people.
In his address titled, “Learning from the Past: Unity and Tradition in the Akesan Festival,” Shettima said, “I am further delighted by the significance that the Akesan Festival has achieved, even though I expected nothing less. So, I must, once again, express my gratitude to my brother, our industrious Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and His Royal Highness, Oba Adeleke Idowu Basibo, the Alaperu of Iperu Remo, for inviting us to witness this festival and participate in shaping this historical narrative.
“Your Royal Highness, this festival serves as an opportunity to reinforce President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to giving priority to our traditional leaders in navigating the intricacies of our diversity. The commitments articulated by our administration stand firm, and we pledge to honor these assurances, ensuring positive transformations in the lives of our people”.
The VP noted that, like previous festivities, the 37th edition of the Akesan Festival is imbued with the essence of the unity Nigerians have forged as a nation.
Shettima said, “It (Akesan Festival) symbolises the heartbeat of our nation, and Ogun State has long become the template for the resilience of our cultural practices as vehicles for progress. From intellectuals and cultural icons to industrialists, Ogun State has been an enduring source of inspiration at the crossroads of culture and modernity.
“Your Excellencies, Your Majesty, distinguished ladies, and gentlemen, this land has not only nurtured industries but also cultivated a rich cultural heritage that unites us. Our nation will forever cherish the sacrifices you’ve made, serving as guardians of tradition, preserving our cultural legacy, and fostering unity among all of us.”