The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, says the African culture is a great asset capable of liberating the continent from economic bondage.
Ogunwusi said this at the Osun festival held at Ita-Osun, Ile-Ife, on Tuesday night.
He said that Ita-Osun was the first settlement of the powerful goddess of the river from where she left to settle at Igede-Ekiti in Ekiti.
The traditional ruler noted that the Osun goddess was known for her motherly role in bringing succour to many households.
The Ooni, who noted that she remained a messenger of God, also said: “We all know the importance of water to our well-being, water is sine-qua-non to life.
“That is the reason why God sent her to the world. Osun was the first goldsmith in the world and very spiritual.
“All that she did was to meet the demands of the populace by healing them of all kinds of illnesses.
“She was giving fruits of the womb to those looking for babies, she was a spiritual being, and that is the reason we are worshipping her as God’s messenger.
“Our culture is our national asset; it’s our money spinning oil if well harnessed and propagated in the right channel,’’ he said.
According to him, there is a need for government to elevate the country’s culture “to turn our nation into a tourist centre that will attract foreigners and help to turn our economy around.’’
Arguing that culture is different from religion, he said “ some people tag us as idol worshippers, but we are not. We are only paying obeisance to the wonders of God because God is Supreme. ’’
The Onigede of Igede-Ekiti, Oba James Adelusi, had led a delegation of Igede people to Ile-Ife for the festival.