President Bola Tinubu has expressed his support for ‘Heritage Voyage of Return’, an initiative aimed at reuniting Afro-descendants with their African roots.
In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Tinubu said the programme will not only re-awaken the historical awareness of society but also create economic benefits.
“Reconnecting Afro-Brazilians with their African roots will be an iconic project that will rekindle our past and light up the spirit of our ancestors,” the president was quoted as saying.
“It will re-awaken memories of what happened many years ago.
“And it is a good thing that this is coming now at a time when we are working on expanding the frontiers of freedom and democracy in Africa.”
Speaking at the State House on Friday, Wale Adeniran, who led the delegation, described the project as identical to the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.
Adeniran also said the initiative will begin in Brazil and go through other African countries before terminating in Nigeria.
He added that the initiators of ‘Heritage Voyage of Return’ sought the support of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka and the president.
Carolina Maira Morais, another member of the delegation, said with about 126 million Afro-descendants in Brazil, “the project will integrate the two countries”.
She also disclosed that President Lula da Silva of Brazil is planning to visit Nigeria.
“Nigeria, the largest black population and the leading economy in Africa, and Brazil, a giant of South America,” she said.
“There are many African traditional families in Brazil. But no African country has gone to Brazil to identify and connect with them.”
Other delegates at the meeting included Soyinka and Ajoyemi Olabisi Osunleye, a culture activist.
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