The Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos, Abiola Dosunmu, said on Thursday that the controversy over who owns Lagos will soon be put to rest with her new initiative.
Dosumu, who is also the Erelu Yeye Oodua, stated this while briefing the press on the forthcoming inauguration of the E.Y.O. Cultural Renaissance Centre, which will take place on December 3, 2023, in Lagos.
It would be recalled that the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, who was recently in Lagos on a visit, said that the Binis founded Lagos.
Speaking on the controversy trailing the history of Lagos’ original settlers, she said one of the reasons her Foundation (Erelu Yeye Oodua Foundation) instituted the new centre was to address such controversy relating to history, culture, art, lifestyle, and others of Africans.
Dosumu disclosed that very soon, the new centre, which focuses on research, empowerment, education, training, and promotion of culture and languages, would unveil a book to put an end to the controversy over who owns Lagos.
According to her, the issue of who founded Lagos should be based on documented evidence and not hearsay or sentiment.
“First of all, I have spoken about this issue several times. All these things that have been said, you have the evidence, relics, and proofs for a whole lot of them for you to be able to bring the story to the right perspective.
“I became Erelu in my early twenties, and I was sitting with 80 and 90-year-old men, and those men had at least another 90 years of experience and narrative verbatim.
I started getting it from them. So already, after 200 years of verbatim stories, I am getting it from the source. I am almost 80, and I have acquired another century of information by myself.
“If I say anything, I am saying it from at least 300 years of verbatim fact. So, some people talk from here and others from there.
“Some of them maybe started imbibing the culture and traditions five years ago, and they made themselves authorities. Hopefully, that’s one of the things we will be unveiling here at the centre,” she said.
Speaking further, Erelu Dosumu said it was important for the government and critical stakeholders to collaborate towards rekindling the interest and increasing consciousness of people to promote the potential of their culture to the world.
She stated that the Oodua Cultural Renaissance Centre would be a training ground for languages, promote local cuisine and art, and, in the long run, build talent and the economy.
“Nigeria is blessed and rich in culture, and the sector can add enormous value to the national GDP if well harnessed, as the government must ensure continued support for individuals and groups working to scale up the enhancement of the nation’s cultural heritage,” she said.