REALISING that Osun State is the centre port of cultural–tourism vibes in Nigeria , the government of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has, since assumption of power, been steadfastly pursuing policies geared at tapping the potentialities of this natural blessing. This is not for dancing, merry making and festivities alone, but for socio-economic emancipation, wealth mobilisation, empowerment, revenue and employment generation. Governor Aregbesola must have, in his own’ weird’ way, embarked on series of researches on the peculiarity of the socio- cultural aspects of tourism in the state and arrived at the best ways of tapping into the tangible and intangible cultural tourism assets of the state for the benefit of his people and Nigeria at large.
He must have realised through the study, his interaction with the people, the numerous tourism sites in the state and his international exposure that Osun and its people had not been having a fair share of the goodies of tourism due to the complacency and lackadaisical posture of the previous administrations in the state which thought that Osun Osogbo celebration was the only cultural and tourism asset which needed to be spotlighted and hyped; the failure to enhance and network other tourism sites which abound in the state with Osun Grove; the inability to galvanise the core cultural tourism stakeholders in the state; the traditional religion worshippers, cultural artisans, artists, hospitality and transport operators, into potent economic change agents and the marked absence of deliberate well planned and honed sensitisation and awareness creation activities for the stakeholders to see their importance in the scheme things.
Governor Aregbesola must have also realised the uniqueness of Osun socio- cultural tourism setting, knowing that, for the state to reap bountifully from the cultural blessings, the third leg of the religious tripod, the African Traditional Religion, must not just be reinforced but be accorded its proper recognition, respect, reference and its practitioners enlightened to bring out the best in them.
And Governor Aregbesola has never allowed the criticism being churned out to distract his attention in tapping the traditional religion for the overall benefit of the state and the nation.
It is in furtherance of this vision and with the belief that cultural– tourism promotion should be taken beyond mere jamboree, razzmatazz, festivities, dancing to empowerment and sustainable economic of the state that Governor Aregbesola conceived the idea of a trade, investment and culture conference where stakeholders, investors, experts in global commerce and intercontinental cultural exchange will meet minds for greater partnership which will enrich the lives of the people.
CULLED FROM TRIBUNE