By NBF News

•Olusegun Obasanjo

Many decades after the infamous enslavement of African by Europe and the America, time is now right for the African people to redefine their role and part positively on global development.

In their separate speeches delivered on Monday by President Goodluck Jonathan and former president Olusegun Obasanjo, the task of promoting African heritage delivered by former president Olusegun Obasanjo at the joint opening ceremony of the first Conference on Black Nationality and the International Colloquium on Slavery and Slave trade and their consequences hosted by Osun State Government, in Osogbo, the task of promoting African value is a must on the continent, this is the only way Africa can sustain its identity in the global village.

While Jonathan pledged administration support for the revival of African cultural heritage, Obasanjo observed that Africans have since beien playing a key role in the globalization process despite the humiliation its people it suffered during slave trade and colonialism.

For Jonathan, whose speech was read by Caleb Olumolade; culture remain one of the potent values which African can use to rule the world, and the need for the federal government to assist culture workers and state like Osun (lead by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola) to harnessed and promote cultural values.

In the same vein, Obasanjo buttressed Jonathan when he noted that Africa had being battered, marginalized and exploited, yet the continent and its people remain resilient, strong and courageous to contribute their quota for the benefit of humanity.

Said Obasanjo, 'We Africans have covered dehumanization and neglect, yet we remain strong and an important force in global issues. We should not be lamenting today rather we should sustain our role as the most globalize in the world, we have also being globalize much, so we do not need others to globalize us, history is important and I urge all our people to know and remember our history, let us all, including Africans in Diaspora, work together with unity of purpose to create a world that we all can proud of.'

Meanwhile, it was the huge gathering of Africa and their kinsmen in Diaspora at the spacious Multipurpose hall located in the heart of Osogbo, Osun state capital. Notable scholars, dignitaries, royal fathers, top government officials artistes and journalists assembled in the part of the historic event which was facilitated by Osun State and supported by the Federal Ministry of Tourism Culture and National Orientation, the Centre for Black and African art Civilization (CBAC), the National Museum and Monument and the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo.

Also in attendance at the ceremony were governors Oyinlola, his wife Omolola, Ogun State governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Tourism and Culture minister Alhaji Sodiq Mohameed, Osun State Deputy governor Erelu Olusola Obata, Oba Ologbuse Sobiade (Ooni of Ife), Mr Richard Soyombo of the Deus Group, UNESCO representatives from Paris and Nigeria, Mr Joseph Ngu, Prof Toyin Salola, Dodo Tien from Senegal, Prof Roumoko Rashidi, from the United State, Prof Bolanle Awe, Prof Wole Ogundele, and King Sunny Ade among many others. Also in attendance were Sir George Ufot Director of Culture, Prof Adi Derefaka and Prof Tunde Babawale.

Aside being entertained with words of encouragement particularly on the revival of African culture, the guests were all thrilled to scintillating lyrics from King Sunny Ade Band, a group of young xylophonists from Akwa Ibom and the Benue State Cultural Troupe. Former president Obasanjo was so thrilled that left the podium to join the xylophonists at the dancing floor where had a stint with the young entertainers.

While KSA mounted a rather dramatic show with praises of dignitaries, the young xylophonists gave several rounds of percussions, which mime popular hi-life numbers, such as Joromi, Oli Dodo and Omo Laso.

The Benue Cultural Troupe on its part dazzled crowd with the popular Swange Dance.

It would be recalled that the African continent suffered a lot of deflection and other consequences in terms of slavery and slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean which started about the 16th century, this crime against humanity was rigorously campaigned against in the 19th century in 1887 about 400 years after. 200 years after the abolition of slave trade, the African continent is yet to recover from the ill-human trafficking of people.

The continent is like a mother who needs the return of her children in terms of physiological, economic and social among others. These could enable more value to be added to African lives in the continent as well as in Diaspora particularly with the impact of slavery, these and others were examined by scholars and world culture workers at the on going colloquium, this is aimed at actualizing the liberty of human race for Africa even as to discuss the different contexts of slavery, its nature, the pattern and the major of the problems associated with or against slavery and slave trade.