Sta Plus Culture, an organisation devoted to restoring the dignity and respect for monarchs across the country, will soon honour some with Traditional Award for Distinction and Excellence (TRADE). The award is aimed at promoting Nigerian culture and bringing back lost values.
According to the president of TRADE, Aderibigbe Olufemi, TRADE will identify, recognise, celebrate and bring back the glory of the ancient kingdoms of Nigeria and their royal fathers, especially those who have done well in their various communities. He said the project would further elevate Benin Kingdom, Ile-Ife and others, which were famous and renowned in ancient times, adding, “Royal fathers are custodians of our culture and we need to preserve the culture. So we want to have some selected royal fathers, go to their palaces, celebrate them and organise free medical check-ups for the royal family and the traditional chiefs.”
The initiative, which began with recognition of some local chiefs in Osun State for their impact on their local communities, is being expanded to other communities and expose them to the world.
“We did something like this in Osun State before but not as elaborate as what we are planning to do,” Olufemi said. “And we are doing this in partnership with other organisations; we’re looking further to partnering with more. Sometime ago, a monarch was kidnapped in Lagos and another in Ondo State, which was impossible in the past. A king was like a kind of god people worshipped. So, this made us conclude that we need to start celebrating and rewarding some of these rulers, who have distinguished themselves because it seems some people have little or no regard for traditional rulers and until we start something, their place in the community may become history.
Apart from celebrating and giving free medical check-ups, the project would expose their communities to the world and governments, which have neglected those communities and they will see the potential and challenges of these communities.
“This ceremony cuts cross the country because wherever we have royal fathers doing good, we’ll go there and celebrate them. The criteria we look at in the lives of any worthy royal father include the number of years spent on the throne and the key areas of performance. An example is the Oba Obalode of Oke-Ila, who has a free private school that gives free uniforms to pupils in the community. Those are the kind of things we are looking for, people who have done so well for their community and the society. ”
Olufemi said the project would start in June with Oba Onibeju of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.