Mr Louis Eriomala, the Director, National Institute for Cultural Orientation, Lagos, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to take-over sponsorship and organisation of the music festival, Felabration.
Felabration is an annual musical festival conceived in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her father Fela, a Nigerian musician and human rights activist.
Fela is known for pioneering the afrobeat genre of music.
Eriomala told our reporter in Lagos that the celebration should go beyond an affair organised by the Kuti’s family alone.
He said that the festival should have been accorded a national status, which could improve the nation’s tourism image with the Nigeria Tourism Development Commission (NTDC) and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in charge.
He said that Fela had not been properly immortalised like most African musical legends such as Bob Marley of Jamaica, adding that Bob Marley was being celebrated by the Jamaican Government annually.
“By now, the Federal Government should have taken over the planning and celebration of Felabration, it ought to have been made an international event to boost our tourism industry.
“We should have Afro-beat musicians all over the world converging in Nigeria during Felabration because Fela is a national hero.
The NICO director said that Fela’s views and corrective songs should be reappraised by individual Nigerians, public office holders and religious leaders.
“We all need to look inwards and ask questions if we have been able to allow Fela’s views to rub off on us.
“He spoke the truth irrespective of the circumstances around. People say Fela was a man who lived before his time and I strongly agree,’’ Eriomala said.