Lagos to Promote Tourism 4th Door of Return
By Yemi Olakitan
Dr. Julius Marcus Garvey jnr, the son of foremost civil rights leader Marcus Garvey and the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are amongst the dignitaries expected at the 4th Lagos Door of Return event.
The Chairman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa who disclosed at a press conference on Monday held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Center, Alausa Secretariat, in Lagos said the event is being organized in partnership with the Lagos State government.
According to Dabiri-Erewa,’’ The door of return includes receiving our brothers and sisters that were taken as slaves over 400 years ago historically, spiritually, emotionally and physically. It is a connection to what we call the joy of return. They are going to take a long walk through that path to the point of no return and we now receive them as kings and queens to where their ancestors were taken away so many years ago.
‘’It is a very emotional ceremony. It is an event everybody needs to participate in. What Lagos will eventually do is to open a permanent door in Badagry, Lagos. We are going to witness the return on the 21st of October, you are going to see what Badagry has, what Lagos has for tourism. No country in the world has what Badagry has for tourism. If the Lagos state governments builds on it, it will now be world renowned heritage for anywhere in the world.’’
She added that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is expected to be the chief host of the event, ‘’Will open the door of return to prosperity. Dr. Julius Marcus Garvey jnr will be the Special Guest of Honour and will be his first time coming to this part of the world.’’
She explained that the Diaspora festival tagged 4th Door of Return will witness the re-enactment of the experience of captured slaves chained in the neck and legs as they wriggled through the ‘Point of No Return’ to the ship.
Dabiri-Erewa said, the 4th Door of Return will include visits to historical sites and birth joy and excitement to the motherland.
“Investors are waiting to build the Diaspora Palace in Badagry. A lot of people have done their DNA and they are saying, we are from Nigeria and we want to come back home. Badagry is a route to slave trade in African soil and that same Badagry will be the 4th Door or Return to many black men and women in Diaspora to experience the motherland first hand.
“I am glad that the Diasporas are coming here. And as they are coming here, they are being led to what they can do for Africa, particularly in Nigeria here. It is a land of opportunities. It is a virgin land waiting to be tapped. For me, it is a lifetime experience and it is an experience everybody should have. We will work with the state, with the Commission and NGOs to see the best we can do to protect our country.”