Why We Celebrated Osun Osogbo In The US - Okeowo
The Chief Executive Officer of Lord Promotions, Olusegun Okeowo, has a dream, and even the blind can see in him a burning desire to get the dream translated into reality. The widely-travelled man is religiously committed to joining the government in expanding investment opportunities in Nigeria through tourism. He explains how he hopes to achieve this as well as the objective of his outfit, Lords Promotions International, speaking to some selected journalists, among them, GBENGA OLUMIDE and DAVID AJIBOYE . Excerpts:
Can you tell us more about Lord Promotions?
LORDS Promotions has been in existence for more than a decade. We have made laudable efforts in making our own contribution to the development of the nation's economy. Actually, we came in through the entertainment world. Lords Promotions was, hitherto, basically an entertainment outfit. We have contributed greatly to the development of the entertainment world, we have taken top players in the entertainment world abroad for international exposure, taken them abroad for awards and creating a sort of awareness for Nigeria's brand of music. We have promoted so many top artistes and have organized awards for many top individuals; in 2005 we did one for former President Olusegun Obasanjo, we took him to Trinidad and Tobago for the Emancipation. Lords Promotions was the official representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Emancipation Support Committee in Nigeria.. In 2006 we took top personalities like Governor Emeritus, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for an award, the whole cabinet of Lagos State went with him to the United Kingdom for the award . We were the first outfit to introduce the entertainment award to Nigerians in Canada; we took Nigerians in Diaspora and top artistes like Shola Shobowale, Dele Odule and others in the entertainment world to Canada. It was quite fantastic, that was when we star-ted the maiden edition of the Arts Entertainment Personalities and Excellence in Government Award.(AEPEG). Don't forget that I once served under General Collin Powell when I was in the US Marine. He was also approached; Michael Jordan was also approached, we still intend to go on with the event but right now we are concentrating on the economic aspect with the sole aim of contributing our quota to the improvement of the nation's economy.
Do you have plans for the Osun Osogbo Festival considering its recent international recognition?
Osun Osogbo is a festival that is accepted worldwide, which the United Nations has endorsed. Don't forget that it is a festival that records the largest number of foreigners in the country, as tourist and worshippers. Interestingly, some of the foreigners that graced the event lobbied for the festival to be accepted in the United States, and they lobbied through the Congress of Florida State, and to the glory of God, the then Florida State Executive Governor who is a younger brother of President Bush, Jeff Bush, signed the bill into law in 2006 and we have since made efforts to get endorsement from the custodians, I mean the stakeholders in the Osun Festival in Nigeria. The people came from Florida to Osogbo and brought the citation from the Governor of Florida State to let them be aware that the Osun Festival is being recognized in Florida. We also visited the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, to keep him abreast of the development in the United States. We were also with the governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola .We have also met with the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN).
We tagged the event ''Celebration of Nigeria''. We divided the 36 states into geo-political zones and picked one from each zone.We had six states representing the 36 states and in order not to deny Osun State the glory, cognizant of its being the custodian of the project, we picked Lagos for the south west and Osun as custodian, which made the number of the states seven.
The in-thing now is the emergence of first the black President in United States of America, how do you react to the development?It is an achievement for Africans because nobody ever dreamt of that in our own generation. We are happy to be part of history, and we give God the glory that we are witnesses to it. We pray that nothing negative would happen to him before and after inauguration and throughout his tenure.