The Lagos State government and its Osun State counterpart have partnered on the Atlantic Bond Initiative on the forthcoming ‘Lagos-Oyotunji Cultural Heritage Fiesta’ to be held in the United States of America, USA.
The founder of the initiative and Anti-child trafficking activist, Mr. Rotimi Vaughan noted that the essence of the festival were among others to advance the socio-cultural relationship between Africa, Nigeria in particular and USA and to reconnect the blacks in the diaspora to their root.
The Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, restated its commitment to the initiative when the team planning the event in Nigeria paid him a visit in the state.
Aregbesola who expressed optimism on the overall impact of the idea, noted that he was ready to roll with any project that sought to advocate and develop Africa and Nigeria`s culture, adding that this in particular, would call the blacks abroad to their origin.
“This initiative reminds us of dehumanising and maltreatment that Nigerians faced during slavery in the years back. It is noting to remember because of the ways and manners that Nigerians were ill-treated but we give glory to God that today, Nigeria has gained freedom from slavery.
“The initiative will bring about increase in foreign exchange earnings, as so many blacks in the diaspora will be visiting Nigeria and this will in turn improve the economy of the state and also create a strong cultural bond between Nigerians and the Americans”, he said.
Vaughan noted further that the whole idea was to steer a progressive and impactful socio-cultural connects, business and friendship relations between Osun, Lagos-Nigeria and South Carolina, City of Camden-Oyotunji African Village, Sheldon, USA, adding that the festival was riding on the fact that modern slavery was an evil reminder of the terribly dehumanising past of the African continent.
Being a direct descendant of South Carolinian, Scipio Vaughan, a former slave who became a prominent and respected family man in Camden, South Carolina, he was determined to draw attention to striking data available in the area of child trafficking in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.
“I have always looked forward to the day I would be in a position to transform my intriguing family historical account of slavery, freedom, dignity and the elevation of the black race, into a platform for promoting impactful, socio-cultural relations and understanding between Africa and Americas. This is that target I seek to execute through the Atlantic Bond Initiative.
“African Americans in the US, looking to re-connect to their roots, would have a huge spring board under the Initiative, from which to dive deep into their past, thereby affecting positive changes in the present and the future.”
He hinted that that the group had already visited Akran of Badagry and would also be visiting some governors and Obas in Nigeria for a wake-up call.