Afrika Shrine Represents Culture, Strength, Music Of The Continent- Macron

Afrika Shrine Represents Culture, Strength, Music Of The Continent- Macron

…Visit Will Open New Vista Of Cooperation Between France And Lagos-  

…Insists State Remains Undeniable Destination For Business, Pleasure In Africa

 

President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday night made a historic visit to the Afrika Shrine, home of the late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, describing it as an iconic centre for the propagation of African culture, strength and music.

Macron, who spoke at the New Afrika Shrine in Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, at an event tagged ‘Celebration of African Culture’ to inaugurate the African Cultural Season 2020, said he was glad to be back to the Afrika Shrine, adding that he still holds fond memories of the place since his first visit back in 2002.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left) during the arrival of the French President at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left) during the arrival of the French President at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

“I discovered Nigeria and a lot of my friends are here. I discovered Nigeria and I discovered Lagos and I discovered the shrine. This place is an iconic place and it is a place where the best of music is given. I have to say my main memories about this place are friends, proud people, proud of their culture, proud of their art and music. I have a very different view of Africa than a lot of other people in Europe,” he said.

Macron stressed the need for Africa and Europe, especially France to build a new commonality, adding that “this new commonality is not based on what is important for Europeans but what is important for Africa, about their culture, how they build their culture and promote the culture and which places are important for them about their culture. Being here, I do recognize their culture and respect their views. This place is important for Africa and their culture and that is why I am here.”

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti (right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti (right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

He also disclosed plans to host the African Cultural Season 2020 in France, which he said, would be about promoting African culture in Europe, adding that the event was going to be for Africa and by African artistes.

“It will include people with fashion, African movies, new generation of artistes will be coming from Africa and it will be organized by them to show Europe and France” the real culture of Africa.

“The event will be financed by African leaders. It will not be sponsored by France or European businesses, but by African businesses, it is brand new. This season is a unique one and it will be the new face of Africa in Europe organize by Africans, providing what you like and what you have here,” he said.

At the official unveiling of Alliance Francaise, a French Cultural Centre in Lagos on Wednesday, Macron said the development was part of the measures to scale up the relationship between France and Nigeria, while also specifically offering the commitment of the government and people of France to development of infrastructural projects in Lagos.

“Thanks very much for being here; thanks very much for making this possible and to Mr Governor, we spoke yesterday and this morning together in the car. Going to shrine together yesterday and going to French Alliance now. It’s much more quite, much more calm and reasonable but at the end of the day, I think both of us (Governor Ambode and I) did share the same views that we can do tremendous things together.

“Your State – Lagos, is one of the main challenges of not just Nigeria but the whole of Africa. I mean this huge city, there is tremendous challenge about how to make people living together in peace, in a better place and I want France to be part of this story and I do want my country and my people being part of this experience. It means belonging same values, sharing cultures, languages, literatures, music, movies, building together projects, having common economic projects and so on, and this eco system will be not just possible but stronger staying in this place,” Macron said.

Earlier, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode while welcoming President Macron to the State, expressed optimism that the historic visit will go a long way to break any barriers between Nigeria and France as well as foster greater collaboration for economic, social and cultural growth.

The Governor said the State Government was delighted to host Macron, a well respected global leader, adding that it would also signal a new era between both countries, especially for Lagos where talents in the arts and creative industry abound.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) when Master Karim Olamilekan presented a painting of the French President during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) when Master Karim Olamilekan presented a painting of the French President during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

“On behalf of the government and good people of Lagos State, I welcome His Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron, President of France, to the commercial and cultural capital of Nigeria and indeed West Africa.

“We are delighted and honoured to be hosting a President of one of the world’s Super Powers; a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council with veto rights, a prominent member of the G8 and the World Trade Organisation and a champion of Global Climate Change.

The Governor said he was particularly delighted that Macron’s visit to Lagos began on a cultural and entertainment note, adding that the French Cultural Centre and Alliance Française based in the State had always been an asset to its cultural landscape in the same way that Trace Television had also become an invaluable addition to its music and entertainment sphere.

Governor Ambode said he was very optimistic Macron’s visit and activities would boost the State’s quest to become the culture and entertainment capital of Africa, just as he said that the State Government would seek to establish collaborations with France and play an integral part of the Year 2020 African Cultural Season in Paris as envisioned by President Macron.

“With the exceptional characteristics of our State as the most populous, vibrant and indeed the fifth richest economy on the African continent, Lagos is the undeniable destination for business and pleasure in Africa. The new Lagos experience is being enhanced daily as we continue to create an enduring infrastructural and security architecture for the business of tourism and cultural arts to thrive. This also creates a platform for our local talents to feel a sense of belonging and encouragement.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th left), presents an art painting to President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (4th right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. With them: Grammy award-winning musician, Angelique Kidjo (4th left); Special Adviser to the Governor, Lagos Global, Prof. Ademola Abass (3rd left); Afrobeat mucisian, Femi Kuti (2nd left); Mrs. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) and others.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th left), presents an art painting to President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron (4th right) during the celebration of African Culture at the Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. With them: Grammy award-winning musician, Angelique Kidjo (4th left); Special Adviser to the Governor, Lagos Global, Prof. Ademola Abass (3rd left); Afrobeat mucisian, Femi Kuti (2nd left); Mrs. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti (left); Nigerian Music Act, Bankole Wellington ‘Banky W’ (right) and others.

“Mr. President, this momentous State Visit shall signal the dawn of a new era between France and Nigeria especially for the myriad of talents that have made Lagos their home,” the Governor said.

He said Macron’s emergence as the President of France has inspired many youths in Nigeria, who constitute 60 percent of the country’s population, adding that Lagos was providing avenues for youths to explore their creativity and talents.

There were also Art Exhibition, Fashion Show, display of Nollywood scenes, presentation of a painting of Fela to Macron by Governor Ambode as well as pencil frame artwork of Macron done by 11-old old Kareem Olamilekan drawn within two hours.

Highpoints of the night include sterling performances by dance group, Footprints of David, music artistes, Yemi Alade, Charlotte Dipanda from Kenya and a scintillating performance by Femi Kuti to bring the event to a close.

Speech Delivered At The 25th Anniversary Of June 12 Presidential Election

Speech Delivered At The 25th Anniversary Of June 12 Presidential Election

Today is a special celebration of the anniversary of June 12. For us in Lagos State, where the struggle started, this year’s anniversary is a victory for democracy.

We all recall that a historic event happened on this very day in 1993 when Chief Moshood Kasimawo Abiola stood as a candidate in a presidential election adjudged to be the freest, fairest and most credible in the history of our nation. It was a day Nigerians demonstrated unity and put aside ethnic and religious biases to speak overwhelmingly with one voice.

Sadly, the aspiration of Nigerians expressed through the ballot was truncated by the military.

Since then, the struggle for democracy has been relentless, championed by progressive Nigerians, men of character and courage who challenged the military junta.

With the return of democracy in 1999, Lagos State, driven by our irrepressible and indefatigable leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, continued to celebrate June 12 and always recognize its importance in our democracy.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, you can imagine our delight when the President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, announced the recognition of June 12 as the authentic Democracy Day in Nigeria. This formal recognition is a crown of victory to the struggle that had taken the lives of so many nationalists and patriots.

Not only was June 12 recognised, the symbol of the struggle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo  Olawale Abiola is to be conferred posthumously with the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic [GCFR], his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

By this singular act, including the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger on the fearless human Rights activists, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, President Muhammadu Buhari has written his name in Gold in the political history of Nigeria.

We salute President Muhammadu Buhari for demonstrating exceptional courage to stand by justice and the truth.

Today, we salute leaders of the struggle including Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Ambassador Walter Carrington, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, Chief Frank Kokori, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Mr. Wale Oshun, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and other Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations, Trade and Labour unions.

We also pay glowing tribute to the beautiful memories of patriots such as Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Pa Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Michael Enahoro, Chief Alfred Rewane, Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, General Adeyinka Adebayo and several others including innocent ordinary Nigerians, young and old who were murdered in cold blood on the streets of Lagos and in other major cities of Nigeria. Today, we declare that their sacrifice has not been in vain.

I reserve special recognition for my predecessors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his pioneering influence in declaring a public holiday on June 12 throughout his tenure in office, and Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his steadfastness in upholding this tradition. Today’s celebration lays credence to the fact that our leaders were visionary.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this historic edition of June 12 celebration, “Restructuring: Antidote for Ineffective & Ineffective Politics”, speaks for itself. As a State and people, our stand on a restructuring process that will lead to fiscal federalism, devolution of power is very clear.

Our present democratic experience may still be far from ideal but we must all make concerted efforts to entrench fiscal federalism which is the only way to achieve true nationhood. We are absolutely convinced that it is the right way to go for us to realise the optimum potential and prosperity of the federating States and the nation.

On this historic day, I am convinced more than ever before that this ideal will be realized sooner than we can imagine.

I thank you all and wish all Lagosians happy June 12 victory celebrations.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!

 

An Address Delivered At The Inauguration Of The  Newly Constituted Lagos State Council Of Obas And Chiefs

An Address Delivered At The Inauguration Of The  Newly Constituted Lagos State Council Of Obas And Chiefs

Your Royal Majesties, Kabiyesis and Chiefs.

I am most delighted to be in your midst today as we inaugurate the newly constituted Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs.

Let me start by expressing my sincere appreciation to the members of the dissolved Council under the Chairmanship of His Royal Majesty, Oba Riliwanu Babatunde Aremu Osuolale Akiolu 1, Oba of Lagos for serving the State with a high sense of patriotism during their five year tenure.

This new council is being inaugurated at a time of momentous changes in the evolution of our State, especially with the development by our administration to ensure that every community feels government presence.

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Our government has immense regard for our Royal Fathers and Traditional Rulers and we always welcome advice from our royal fathers in order to maintain social harmony and ensure peaceful coexistence in our State.

I therefore use this opportunity to call on our Royal Fathers and Chiefs and the new leadership of the Council of Obas and Chiefs to continue to address anti-social behavior in their communities. The most important ingredient for development in the State is peace and security and you all have an important role to play in this.

As custodians of the culture and tradition of our people, our royal fathers should also be at the forefront of the State’s tourism campaign. A significant aspect of tourism is our culture and historical sites which fall under your jurisdiction.

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These must be showcased to the world and our government is channeling a lot of resources to environmental regeneration and creation of tourist hubs in the State. This project requires your support and cooperation.

It is important to restate that the traditional institution of Kingship in our society, regardless of the advent of modernism, remains a rallying point for the generality of our people. It has been serving as a veritable vehicle for the dissemination of Government policies, programmes and mobilization of the populace for same and will continue to remain relevant to the government.

This is why today’s occasion is very significant. By law, the Council of Obas and Chiefs is to advise the Governor on chieftaincy matters and any other matter of public policy concerning Traditional Rulers or any other class of Chiefs.

It is also to advise the Governor on matters relating to customary laws or cultural affairs, inter-communal relations and maintenance of public order in the State.

The membership of the Council cuts across the Five (5) divisions of the State in acceding to the clamour for additional members and recognition. The preceding principle of equitable distribution was applied across the five (5) Divisions of the State.

I urge the re-constituted Council to justify the confidence reposed in them by using their wealth of experience to support our administration in the task of deepening democracy and bringing development to every part of our State.

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Finally, our administration remains committed to the welfare of our Royal Fathers and will continue to support your activities as we have consistently demonstrated.

Your Royal Majesties, I now have the honour to inaugurate the new members of the State Council of Obas and Chiefs and most especially the Permanent Chairman, the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty Oba Riliwanu Babatunde Aremu Osuolale Akiolu 1.

I wish you all a happy and successful tenure. I pray that God will grant you wisdom and good health to contribute positively to the development of our State.

I thank you all for your attention.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lo je wa logun!

    

 

Lagos Museum Project: Lagos State Government Lauds Ford Foundation’s $600,000 Donation

Lagos Museum Project: Lagos State Government Lauds Ford Foundation’s $600,000 Donation

…Unveils Plan To Build Contemporary Museum In Ikeja

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday lauded an international organisation, Ford Foundation for donating $600,000 (about N216million) towards the architectural design and commencement of the iconic Lagos Museum Project to be located in Presidential Lodge and Lagos House in Marina.

The Governor has also unveiled plans by the State Government to build a modern museum in Ikeja to promote arts and sciences in addition to the Marina museum.

Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with Ford Foundation Executive Vice President for Programs, Ms. Hillary Pennington (5th left); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Program Associate, Ford Foundation, Padma Ugbabe (3rd left); Program Offices, Ford Foundation, Dr. Paul Nwulu (2nd left); Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (left); Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade (5th right); Program Offices, Ford Foundation, Eva Kouka (4th right); Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Segun Banjo (3rd right);  Program Assistant, Ford Foundation, Joy Ehinor-Esezobor (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson (right) during the courtesy visit to the Governor by the Ford Foundation Executive Vice President for Programs, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, February 19, 2018.
Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with Ford Foundation Executive Vice President for Programs, Ms. Hillary Pennington (5th left); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Program Associate, Ford Foundation, Padma Ugbabe (3rd left); Program Offices, Ford Foundation, Dr. Paul Nwulu (2nd left); Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (left); Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade (5th right); Program Offices, Ford Foundation, Eva Kouka (4th right); Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, Mr. Segun Banjo (3rd right); Program Assistant, Ford Foundation, Joy Ehinor-Esezobor (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson (right) during the courtesy visit to the Governor by the Ford Foundation Executive Vice President for Programs, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, February 19, 2018.

Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he received a delegation from Ford Foundation led by its Executive Vice President in charge of Programs, Ms. Hilary Pennington, Governor Ambode said the two iconic tourism structures, which are in line with the vision of his administration to transform the State into world class tourist destination, would be completed within the next two to three years.

The Governor commended Ford Foundation for the confidence reposed in the State with the partnership, saying that the collaboration, coming from an internationally reputable organization such as the foundation, had served as a motivating factor for the State Government to do more for the people in the sector.

According to the Governor, “We had said we are going to have our own Lagos Museum and the dream is being spearheaded by Ford Foundation. The funding for the architectural work, the design and the initial workspace of the Museum is being funded through the foundation and I am happy to announce that they are making a total donation of $600,000 to us for the commencement of this project to ensure that whatever it is that we put down as Lagos Museum actually reaches that world class status that we want our Museum to be.

“There is a National Museum in Lagos but it does not belong to Lagos State and so we are very proud that we want to sustain our own heritage and we are very proud also that Ford Foundation has also decided to do a road show for us to go across Europe and other parts of the world to bring interested donors to come and partner with us to make the museum a reality.

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“In addition to the Lagos Museum which we have decided will be within the Lagos House and Presidential Lodge in the Onikan axis, it is our intention also to construct another museum in the Ikeja axis that will be called the Contemporary Museum of Arts and Sciences and it will be in the location where the Lagos Arts Council is presently,” he said.

The Governor said the efforts to build iconic tourism structures for the State were in line with the promise of his administration to put the State on global tourism map and use the sector to promote excellence in the State.

“All these are in line with our Project THESE which stands for Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Arts and Sports to promote Excellence in Lagos which we promised our people. I want to thank Ford Foundation for this partnership which I know will be beneficial to most Lagosians

“With the efforts of the Ford Foundation, I am inspired to put my hands in putting two iconic structures within the State in the next two to three years and I believe strongly that this support will actually make us to fast-track the number of years that these projects can come into fruition,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Pennington said the delegation was at Lagos House in furtherance of the partnership with the State Government on the Lagos Museum project, saying that the foundation was honoured to be collaborating with the State.

“We are honoured to partner with you and to support your vision for the Lagos State Government to build an iconic cultural space to make available to all diverse cultures and protect the heritage of this great city and to create space that will be opened to people from all over the world to see and learn about the heritage of this city.

“This is a great city; it’s one of the world’s great cities and it deserves the kind of iconic space that you are creating and we are very honoured to be part of this,” Pennington said.