By Elusogbon Dorcas
Ile-Ife (NAN) The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, says his community is deploying cultural tourism as a veritable tool to tackle the current economic recession.
The traditional ruler, who spoke during the celebration of the Aje festival (festival of wealth) in Ile-Ife on Tuesday, said Nigeria and other African countries began to have economic challenges when they relegated traditional trading methods.
According to him, the non-celebration of the festival had also contributed to the economic hardship in the country.
“It is because we are not paying obeisance to what we should paying obeisance to.
“Before colonisation started, our forefathers did all these and they survived in abundance.
“We are paying obeisance to the creation of God; Aje is something that everybody craves for.
“If we do what we are supposed to be doing, we will be a leading country in the world as it used to be at some point and things will turn around.
“It is even turning around for us already in Ile-Ife.
“ We don’t have anything that we do than worship the Almighty God and pay high obeisance to nature as mysteries created by God.
“That is why everything is booming for us inspite of the recession. We are focusing on agriculture and youth empowerment. This is one thing other races and nations can emulate.
“All races of the world spent the first currency in the world created by nature from beneath the sea. It was first spent and discovered at Ejigbomekun market in Ile-Ife under the administration of Aje.
“Aje is a deity associated with festivities like Olojo festival.
“ Mankind still works to earn a living and we toil a lifetime for her in Oja Ife in Ile-Ife and globally, her spirit still answers the call of those who seek her sincerely,’’ Ogunwusi said.
The Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, who led market leaders to the festival, called on Nigerian leaders to use the opportunity of the festival to intensify efforts in ending recession in the country.
“Today is about our tradition and culture. Aje is a very important festival in boosting our economy.
“I hope government will provide the enabling environment to keep this up. All countries have their traditions and ways of getting things resolved.
“Our leaders should work tirelessly to ensure that recession does not persist,’’ she said.