The Director, Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Professor Siyan Oyeweso has disclosed that the Abrahamic faiths is one of the major hindrances negating the development of Osun-Osogbo international festival.
Speaking at a Colloquium organised by the centre themed, “Osun-Osogbo festival: The Past in the Living Present”, on Saturday, he said religious fanatism, especially among Christians and Muslims has become a major obstacle to maximising the potential of the festival.
He added that describing the festival as “Festish” by clerics of both religion reduces acceptability among local tourists and thereby raising the debates over government commitment to investing and maximising its potential as a major tourist destination.
According to him, if properly and adequately handled, Osun-Osogbo can be explored by government as an offshoot to revamping Nigeria’s tourism development.
“The Festival, annually, unlike any other is already attracting tourists from across the world and with proper policy in place it can become a major tool to revamp the tourism potential of the country.
“Although, the Abrahamic faiths have also been a major obstacle to Osun-Osogbo achieving its full potential in terms of revenue generation for the nation’s economy, but if government have the right policies in place, it can a major tool to revamp Nigeria’s tourism sector”.
Similarly, the Head of History Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Dr Saheed Amusa, said the UNESCO recognised sacred grove is a major asset for, not just only the state, but Nigeria as a whole and should be a major tourists site for revenue generation.
He described the festival as a spiritual bond between the people of Osogbo and Osun goddess, adding that for tourist, adherents and traditionalists, the festival offers them different satisfactions.
Source: Vanguard Newspaper