Ogun drum festival has come to stay, says Gov Amosun

Ogun drum festival has come to stay, says Gov Amosun

Starting from the successful hosting of the 2018 Ogun Drum Festival, the state governor, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, said the event had come to stay as an annual festival.

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Amosun said this while speaking with state House correspondents on Tuesday.

According to him, the administration never expected the kind of large turnout and participation in the festival which ended last week and added that it was overwhelmed by the patronage.

“All we are trying to do is to use the instrumentality of drum as a vehicle and catalyst for socio-economic development and we a re using it as a way to broaden our tourism sector.

`And clearly we exceeded our expectation. I am happy that it has come to stay. It created so much wealth for our people.’’

The governor noted that during the festival a lot of people got something doing and everybody was working.

“By the Grace of God it was very successful. Everybody watched it for three days; we actually never believed the extent and the level of success.

“We were expecting that we would just have maybe 10 or so from the international community, that is outside Nigeria, within the continent of Africa.

“We never expected that we were going to have even some outside the continent of Africa.

“And little did we know that we were going to end up with about 23 states within the nation performing and over 80 individual troupes that performed at the drum festival.

“We were leveraging and we leveraged really on the value chain that that drum festival brings.

“And in any case this year, we veered into the intellectual arm of the drum festival, where we had Prof. Wole Soyinka and some erudite scholars particularly in the area of drum, the importance of drum, the significance of drum to us as human beings, as a nation and as a continent.’’

He said that the scholars had intimated the state on what to do next to improve the festival.

Amosun stated that there were some other areas that the government even never thought of but which the scholars identified and “we are bringing that on board.

“All of those will be looked into and come next year we are going to put all of these into place.’’

On revenue generated from festival, the governor noted that it was immeasurable.

“Let me put it this way that whatever money that we spent and that is why I said that clearly and gradually this thing will be totally self-driven.

“Because we got a lot of partners, a lot of sponsors that actually keyed into what we are doing.’’

He said that just two days into the festival, a lot of corporate organisations were calling to be part of the sponsors.

“As we speak now we are trying to see the possibility of having four maximum anchor sponsors and then we have some other smaller ones to join.

“So if you look at that whatever money that was put in we got more than that from our sponsors,’’ he added.

According to Amosun, due to the perfect organization and the benefits derived it would be difficult for anyone after his administration to jettison the festival.

He said that Ogun people “are very politically savvy, socially savvy and even economically savvy; they know when they see good things and you must just do it; you cannot bring back the hand of the clock.

“And in any case since it is going to be self-sustaining, why will anybody not want to continue with that; it will only help his profile and what is happening there,’’ he stated.

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