It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the third edition of the annual Ajagunmale festival.
It is, indeed, a great honour for me to also stand before you today to celebrate the third anniversary of this festival.
Today's event, (like every other events, sponsored by our organisation), has come to stay.
And I am delighted that the initiatives introduced a few decades ago by our organisation have matured.
The secret of our success stories is in our commitment to promote the Yoruba cultural heritage across the Nigeria and beyond.
It is also pertinent to say it repeatedly, that this event is one of the various annual festivals organized and sponsored by the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF).
But many might be wondering why we continue to sponsor festivals and celebrate our ancestors and progenitors through these annual festivals.
Let me respond by saying that OFF under my leadership is determined to pursue its ideological beliefs vigorously without looking back.
But if I may ask: Who is Ajagunmale? And why do we celebrate the festival.?
Ajagunmale is referred to as the most recognised praise-singer in heaven.
He is the Chief Priest of Ifa in heaven, saddled with the onerous responsibility of eulogizing the creator of heaven and earth.
He is also known and called the Oluwo Ode - Orun, meaning the Chief Priest of heaven.
The Yoruba history and epistemology also defines the role of Ajagunmale as a praise- singer to Almighty God.
There are more to this history, but the truth is that the two prominent religions we practice in Nigeria certainly lay claim the supremacy of God as the omnipotent and omniscience.
Ajagunmale is an epitome of praise. And praise as we all know, remains the best supplication to God.
The Yoruba in their wisdom, believe in the act of praising God, The power of praise is awesome and it is the only key that opens all doors, particularly, the door to the heart of the highest God.
So, Ajagunmale, on daily basis, often uses His praise songs to praise and applaud the almighty God.
That is why his one of the most love deity in heaven by almighty God because through praising God in his lineage every morning in heaven his always happy with him, which a lot of yorubas did not know because of is attachment to Yoruba religion.
We have to appreciate one of the important heritages attached to Yoruba religion and Yoruba culture and tradition in heaven that is one the reason we are celebrating him today.
The lesson here is for us not to despise the power of praise in all our endeavors.
It is truly the key to all doors, and most times, It is also key to our successes as a people.
Praise is awesome to God, as we gather here to celebrate Ajagunmale, one thing is sure: And that is, the highest God is happy with us.
But as we celebrate Ajagunmale festival, we must acknowledge the fact that what we are doing today is no jamboree.
In the last few years, we have designed an annual programme of events and festivals that have showcased our resolve and determination to break new ground in our quest to project the Yoruba cultural heritage to the world.
On several occasions, we have continuously promoted our traditional institutions globally.
We have also made a clarion call to all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious beliefs or associations, to support a genuine cause to promote what is truly ours- that's our cultural identity and heritage.
Today, everybody is aware of our foundation’s resolve to continually promote our ancestors, including the Yoruba cultural heritage and traditional institutions.
So far, there is no denying the fact that OFF has made tremendous progress in all areas of human endeavours, be it socially, politically or economically.
All glory and adoration goes to the almighty God, who has made it possible for us to champion a new cause.
More importantly, I must admit and appreciate all the leaders of our group, for being courageous and innovative in the face of various odds.
As a foremost organization, I know for sure that Olokun Festival Foundation have several records of achievements.
All these achievements easily translate to what everybody could see and be proud of wherever they are in any parts of the country.
Therefore, as I stand before you today, I' m here to encourage you, I' m here to wake you all up from your slumber, that no matter the situation, we should try as much as we could, to remain steadfast and committed to our goal.
Our goal as I have said severally is to be committed to the ideals of a genuine socio cultural organisation.
That is what we are known for in Nigeria and across the world, And that is our identity.
Nothing more, nothing less, On the present state of the nation’s economy, Everybody is feeling the heat.
It is no more news that the economic recession in the country is affecting Nigerians seriously; however, it is sad that not much has been done by the present administration to harness the tourism potentials of our great nation.
The present situation in the country demands a new approach, Besides, tourism can as well, be one of the policy options of this administration that can help us out of this economic doldrums that we have found ourselves in. Other countries have done it and it worked.
We can do it as well, At this juncture, Let me say it once again that OFF is ready to join hands with people of like minds mainly to use these festivals as tools to boost our tourism potentials in Nigeria.
Tourism provides a wide array of opportunities for people across the world.
In terms of doing tourism and businesses, Nigeria remains the best place for global investors.
Therefore, as a credible organisation that promotes the Yoruba cultural values and tradition, we will continue to lend our voices to call on the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to use tourism and festivals as tools for national development.
Festivals like this and others that we have been sponsoring in the past decades should be used to market our rich cultural heritage to the world.
By celebrating these festivals, we are also selling our unique tradition to the world.
Therefore, Nigeria government has a role to play in harnessing our tourism potentials to the world.
More importantly, I passionately appeal to all Yoruba indigenes both at home and in the diaspora to support our crusade for making this possible.
On this note, I express my appreciation to all our royal fathers and the guests present here today.
As far as I am concerned, celebrating Ajagunmale festival in Lekki is a step in the right direction, and I urge you all to keep the flag flying.
This anniversary offers the host community the rare opportunity to learn great lessons about how best to use praise as an opportunity to move closer to God, and also remain faithful to the ideals of our foundation.
Thanks for listening and God bless you all.
Otunba (Dr) Gani Adams
National Coordinator Oodua People’s Congress
Chief Promoter Olokun Festival Foundation
Chairman Gani Adams Foundation
Convener Oodua Progressive Union