Malam Yusuf Abdalalh, the Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) on Thursday said the Osun Osogbo Groove would be developed to become the best tourists’ destination in Africa.
Abdallah said this in Abuja when the committee on the 2014 Osun Osogbo festival paid him a courtesy call.
He said that the groove would be developed to attract patronage by tourists from all over the world.
The director-general said that the commission was managing the site to ensure that it retained its pride on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Abdallah said that the commission would involve the private sector in managing the site.
“We want to get the private sector involved in the management of the Osun Osogbo festival, also Sukur site in Adamawa so as to make them appealing to tourists.
“We want to also make the Osun Osogbo festival one of the best tourists’ destination in Africa and the commission will leave no stone unturned to achieve this noble project,’’ he said.
The director-general lauded the efforts of the Osun Osogbo festival committee in ensuring that the festival retained its pride of place among the Yorubas.
Abdallah said that the listing of Osun Osogbo festival on the World Heritage List had improved the image of the site.
He said that the participation of private sectors had equally made it gain a lot of attention.
Abdallah said that the site was not only about artifacts and monument but had also helped in enterprise development, which had provided employment for the people of Osun.
He said that this had reduced the level of poverty and helped to put food on the table of the people.
“The contributions of the festival have been very significant in the state,’’ he said.
The Principal Coordinator, Osun Osogbo Festival, Chief Jimoh Braimoh, commended the NCMM for maintaining the highest standard in the management of the groove.
Braimoh said that every family in Osun was committed to the festival, adding that both Muslims or Christian were usually involved in the success of the festival.
He said the groove had been modified to wearing a new look and called for proper funding to maintain the standard.
He said that the committee would not deviate from pursuing standard in the groove.
“We are looking forward to ensuring that Osun Osogbo gets better.
“We will not deviate from the normal thing that is required of us to do to ensure that the 2014 festival is a success,’’ Braimoh said.