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Our culture not inferior to Western culture -Gov Oshiomhole



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By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBEThe Executive Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has called all Esan sons and daughters to embrace their culture and tradition noting that “our culture and tradition is not in any way inferior to Western cultures.”

The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor Pius Egberanmwen Odubu, spoke at Igueben during the 11th Esan Economic Empowerment Workshop organised by the Association of Esan Professionals (AEP).

He said that the workshop couldn’t have come at a better time especially now that our culture and tradition are been “threaten and on the verge of extinction.” He advises parents to teach their children Esan language saying that “embracing traditions and belief system does not make one less a Christian.”

Gov Odubu said, “I am not sure you are able to speak your native dialect; our children can’t even speak our native dialect. We must encourage and tech them the language and make them imbibe our cultural values and norms that brought their parents to the levels they are.

“Loving your tradition doesn’t make you less of a Christian and our traditions and beliefs are not fetish and inferior before Western beliefs. Before the advent of Christianity, we have our Commandments. Thou shall not steal and commit adultery and our people abide by it. Anybody that does anything to the contrary was publicly shamed.”

The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Tom Ikimi enjoined the organisers to carry out extensive research and documentation on Esan culture to include its culture and values; language; fashion, and dances for posterity. He, however, pledged his genuine commitment to the development of Esan traditional culture and traditional values.

In his welcome address, the President of Association of Esan Professional, Barrister Matthew Egbadon said AEP was out to develop a sense of oneness among Esan Professionals across the country and in the diaspora as well as pursuing the social, political and economic development of Esanland.

He added that as part of efforts of AEP to make Esan language relevant and inculcate it in the curriculum, Prof Matthew Omo-Ojugo, a former Vice Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma was commissioned to work on the documentation of Esan cultural values and practices which was part of the highpoint of the workshop.

Egbadon said, “In carrying out the assignment, the research team visited the 32 kingdoms in Esanland, interacted with and interviewed our traditional rulers and other knowledgeable custodians of our cultural values and practices.

“We are going to work with the Ministry of Education to introduce Esan Language into the school curriculum. It was there in the past and we must re-awaken that consciousness and make the language taught in schools so that people can begin to learn the language again. Unless you are able to speak your language, you may not be able to appreciate what is going on.”

Commenting on the successes recorded during the two-day workshop, the Chairman, Culture and Tourism Committee, Dr Ona Ekhomu reiterated that they have been able to sufficiently create some awareness but don’t really think that they have hit the mark in terms of being able to design some tourism policy initiatives that governments at all levels can implement in order to boost tourism in Esanland.

High point of the workshop was fashion parade display and cultural dances from all the nooks and crannies of Esanland.  

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