The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri -Erewa has said that the Federal Government is nursing a desire to help about 15 million Diaspora Africans trace their roots back home through the Nigeria Diaspora Festival in Badagry.
In a statement personally signed by Dabiri- Erewa and made available to the Daily Times on Thursday, the SSA said that the festival with a theme titled, The voyage to heritage “, will provide a platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Lagos State and Nigeria to the world and also promote the country’s tourism potentials. The festival is scheduled to hold in Badagry between August 23 and 25, 2017
Abike-Dabiri also commended Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for throwing his weight behind the festival, saying the event would host the largest gathering of Africans in the world, and that it was a thing of joy that
many Africans in Diaspora had already indicated interest to trace their roots back home.
She said, ” After attending past editions of this event, it is evident that with consistency and the support of of the government and respective organisation, this would eventually be the biggest cultural events to come out of Africa”.
She further expressed delight at the concept of the door of return saying, ” celebrating the return of diasporans and their connection to homeland, as well as the platform to showcase the beauty of Lagos State and Nigeria to the world, will definitely enhance tourism.
“For the first time, we have been having in Badagry a festival that brings people in the Diaspora together, but when we attended this festival a few years ago, we sat together and said this would be the biggest cultural event to come out of Africa.
” One of the unique aspects of the festival is the ‘Door-of-Return’. A lot of people and things were taken out of Africa, and Badagry, in particular. So, our people in Diaspora would be coming back through that door that we are calling the ‘Door-of-Return,’ which is the opposite of ‘Point-of-no-Return’ through which Africans were taken out.
Beyond that, we will be showcasing the beauty and culture of Lagos State in particular, and Nigeria in general, through the festival.” she added.
A major stride the festival is making this year is the coming on board of a marketing outfit to propagate its ideals as the best tourism brand worth supporting among Nigeria’s corporate community.