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Anti-slave trade: Firm partners ADDI to build Lost City of TUSONDEL in Rivers

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The African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) and a Nigerian firm on the aiges of International Property Investment and Development (IPIAD) have embarked on a journey to bring back home descendants of Africans that were sold into slavery all over the world.

To this end, plans are on the way to develop a-major 5-star mixed-use business, leisure and historical destination resort city project Rivers state.

The project being championed by IPIAD, a historical tourism development firm, ADDI and other foreign partners is aim to attract back home African Americans who want to relocate to Nigeria or re-discover their ancestral roots, families, kingdoms and villages in Nigeria.

In a statement released on Sunday in Abuja after a visit of President of ADDI recently in Lagos, IPIAD’s President Prince Kalada William-Jumbo, said the first phase of the proposed TUSONDEL City project was estimated to cost $2.5 billion and over a period of 10 years expected to attract investments of around $10.0 billion.

Prince William-Jumbo noted that African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) recently concluded a successful ground breaking ceremony of a similar project referred to as “Wakanda City of return” in Cape Coast, Ghana which attracted a lot of Africans in the diaspora to come back home to Ghana/Africa.

On the choice of Rivers state as the location, William-Jumbo who is also a member of the ADDI advisory board said “Bonny Kingdom is one of the oldest, richest and most famous of all the Kingdoms in the region and like its land, its history is also very rich and old, but not without controversy and pain.

“Historically, Bonny Kingdom was a major strategic trading and economic hub hundreds of years ago. A centre for learning, commerce and trade, and still is till this day. At the peak of Bonny Kingdom’s reign, between the 19th – early 20th century, the People of Bonny and the extended Niger Delta Kingdoms in general, also participated in the dreadful but at that time, very lucrative business of slave trading.

“When slavery was finally abolished by the British, Bonny Kingdom and other slave trading Kingdoms began a journey of decline and eventually fell. Majority of the slaves that were sold and shipped off to North America especially the USA, were sold and shipped off from Bonny Kingdom.”

While calling on the Rivers state government to support and invest in the project, the statement said: “The First phase of our planned TUSONDEL City project is estimated to cost $2.5 Billion US Dollars and over a period of 10 years is expected to attract investments of around $10.0 Billion USD.

“When completed the TUSONDEL City project will boost economic and business activities around and beyond the Armpit of Africa, create thousands of new jobs and businesses, promote tourism, economic and leisure activities in Finima, the Bonny Kingdom area, the extended Niger Delta area and Nigeria in general for both Nigerians and foreigners alike.

“Nigeria and Nigerians stand to gain enormously from the wealth of experience our African Brothers, Sisters and Children in the Diaspora possess. They really want to come back home to visit at least once, so as to enable them decide on relocation plans, to trace their ancestral homes and families, obtain a 2nd citizenship, start a new Life, Invest in Africa, train their fellow Africans and create lots of jobs/business opportunities.

“We’re also looking for Kingdoms families towns villages and people whose ancestors were directly or indirectly involved in the Slave Trade for Forgiveness and Re-unification Prayers which will foster in a new era of Prosperity Peace Love Unity and Freedom.

“We plan to formally meet the Governor of Rivers State Government so as to partner with us Rivers State Government and the Good people of Finima, Bonny Kingdom as Equity Stake partners in this laudable joint development of our proposed Lost City of TUSONDEL Project by providing us with approximately 2500 hectares of Project land for the project site at Finima and expedite all necessary approvals/Support.”

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Culture Ministry secures UNESCO Inscription for Sango Festival, Midwifery traditions

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According to Musawa, the achievement was made possible through the Ministry’s tireless efforts and strategic collaborations at the national and international levels, in line with the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
“The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, plays a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting cultural diversity worldwide. It helps in raising the awareness about the significance of Intangible Cultural Heritage, encourages dialogue between communities, fosters respect for cultural expressions and promotes sustainable development by preserving traditional knowledge and practices.
“The inclusion of these two Nigerian cultural elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has transformed them into shared global heritage (products) with enhanced visibility. The 181 States; Parties to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are predisposed to visiting Nigeria to enjoy these cultural expressions.
“The anticipated increase in tourism inflow into the country, will result in global visibility, job creation and wealth generation , thereby contributing to sustainable national growth and development, economic well-being and pride in national cultural identity”.
The two key products from Nigeria were inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity during the 18th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Kasane Botswana from 4th to 9th December 2023.
The Sango Festival and Midwifery traditions have now been recognized as integral parts of human cultural heritage, joining five previous Nigerian inscriptions: Ifa Divination System (2008), Oral Heritage of Gelede (2008), Ijele Masquerade (2009), Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival (2016), and Kwagh-hir Theatrical Performance (2019).
This milestone not only promotes cultural diversity and community cohesion but also contributes to sustainable development, job creation, and wealth generation through increased tourism. It aligns with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, which prioritizes the appreciation and preservation of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

The Minister of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa has announced the Ministry’s achievement in pushing for UNESCO’s inscription of Sango festival Oyo and the multinational nominating of Midwifery: knowledge skills and practices.
A statement by her special adviser on media Nneka Nkem Anibeze quoted the minister to have spoken at the Federal Executive Council Meeting, presided over by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday, while briefing the Council on the strategic activities of the ministry since its establishment in August 2023.

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Culture ministry sets N3.7bn for research amidst calls to cut costs of governance

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The federal ministry of arts, culture and creative economy has set aside a whopping sum of N3.7 billion for “research and development”.

The money was cited in the 2024 budget of N28.7 trillion signed by President Bola Tinubu in January this year.

Tinubu had proposed N27.5 trillion, but the lawmakers jerked it up by N1.2 trillion.

Recall that the appropriation act came under scrutiny after Abdul Ningi, now suspended senator representing Bauchi central, alleged that the budget was padded by N3 trillion.

In the budget for the ministry created by the Tinubu administration, the sum of N160 million will be spent for the construction of a skill acquisition centre for art and craft in Musawa LGA of Katsina state.

This is the LGA Hannatu Musawa, minister of arts, culture and creative economy, hails from.

Again, the sum of N290 million was earmarked for the provision of solar street lights in Musawa LGA.

The ministry also provided N98 million for a “Nigerian pavilion” at the next Cannes Film Festival that will be held between May 14 and 25 in France.

A sum of N150 million was put aside by the ministry for “art culture information desk” at the Abuja international airport.

The ministry budgeted N26 million for miscellaneous – refreshments and publicity among others.

There have been calls to cut down the costs of governance by many civil society organisations (CSOs) and individuals.
The management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in August 2023 confirmed that she was still a serving corps member.

“Yes she is a serving corp member,” Eddy Megwa, director of press and public relations at the NYSC headquarters, confirmed at the time.

However, the minister did not comment on the issue.

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Young Artist tells government to encourage Art to boost Nigeria’s economy

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Miss Ifunanya Anunobi and her work
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By Ekuson Nw’Ogbunka Abuja

A young artist, Miss Ifunanya Anunobi has advised the government at levels to encourage Art in order to boost the country’s economy.

Anunobi, a graduate of History and International Studies from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who has chosen to go into her talent, art, addressed journalists recently in Abuja.

The Artist making explanations about her Artworks

Making her points, she said that Artists, if encouraged would not only be self-employed, but also train many others who, according to her would stand on their own, without depending on the government for employment.

Explaining why she ventured into the profession, she said: “At the age of 12, I tried replicating a cartoon I saw and discovered my knack for drawing. Over time, I developed a habit of drawing anything I saw, finding solace and joy in the process.”

She continued: “Encouraged by my uncle, the former Police Service Commission Chairman, Chief Simon Okeke, I decided to transition into a full-time artist after my youth service in Abuja in 2022. I received validation of my talent from my uncle, who emphasized that it was a gift from God.
“With his encouragement, I delved deeper into art, progressing from drawing to painting, allowing me to express myself fully.”

When asked, if she was being coached by any expert, she said: “I seek advice concerning Art from people like the president of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Mr Mohammed Suleiman and I do also talk to some Artist friends I met in Abuja here for guidance.”

She acknowledged the challenges of the profession, including emotional strains and financial instability but has decided to remain dedicated to her craft, by planning a solo exhibition in Abuja to showcase her works.

When pressed further, she responded thus: “I can say yes, because this is a passion and talent and it gives me joy. Although, I like what I studied in the university, but as you can see, this is my talent and the passion I have for it has overtaken what I studied in the university.”

When asked if she was being assisted by the government, having been able to come out with such beautiful Artworks, she responded thus: “I haven’t, but what I have been doing is participating in competitions, if you are lucky, you get it, if you aren’t, you won’t. However, what I would like the government to do is to encourage the art market, because the market is poor and thus affecting the upcoming Artists.

“And if there is an exhibition opportunity, we the upcoming artists won’t be able to participate, because most of us don’t have money to pay for spaces in a gallery. Even if you are able to participate, most Nigerians would just come, look at the Artworks and go without buying any. So to that, I urge Nigerians to become more interested in art and support artists, because art is also an investment. The Artwork you bought at say, N100 thousand can be resold at N2 million in about four to five years time.

Reiterating why the government should come in to empower those in the profession, the young artist has this to say: “If empowered, we shall contribute immensely to the economy, in the areas of teaching and training people who will be on their own. “By so doing, you have generated employments and the economy will be growing. So I advise Nigerians and the governments at all levels to encourage art and emerging artists who try their best to bring in colours to our turbulent society.”

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