The Universal Reggae Fans Movement (URFAM) has inducted Prince Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning as Grand Patron in a grand reception and reggae extravaganza, titled, “Naija Reggae Revival ’22” in Benin City, Edo State capital.
The event held at the prestigious Emporium Event Centre, Benin City marked the 41th Annual celebration of the life of late Bob Marley attracted high profile personalities in Nigeria.
According to the Clem Agba, the Grand Patron of the Movement, he observed that whenever he wanted to go philosophical and needs inspirations, he listens to reggae music. He said reggae is not just about music and dance but that it provides deep inspirations beyond the funfair.
“I think the objective of the reggae movement beyond the funfair is the promotion of self-expression and the promotion of the values of the African identify,” he said.
The Prince from Edo North Senatorial District therefore proposed a name change from Universal Reggae Fans Movement (URFAM) to “African Renaissance Movement” (ARM) with subsequent events to adopt the new name saying that he is very conscious of the city, Benin, where the event took place.
“We need to rediscover who we are as Africans and no place deserves the hosting of an event of this magnitude and significance than the primordial city of Benin, the home of African history and rich cultural heritage.”
Speaking to the newsmen at the event, the minister said that people tend to pay more attention to the yellow colour of the reggae symbol which has to do with the dancing and socializing more than the red colour which symbolizes the blood of the individual and the society at large.
In his words, “we should spare more thoughts for the blood which controls the body and the nation because we all are under mental slavery whether as citizens or as leaders in government.
“I look at the finances of the country and I see we are a poor nation and I know it is wrong for instance, for government to spend 6.7 trillion Naira on subsidy and when you want to remove it the citizens say no and yet they want omelet without breaking an egg.
“We are complaining that the exchange rate is too high yet we are not producing things to be sold to earn dollars to bring down the dollar exchange rate.”
Speaking further, he said, “Nigerian Doctors are trained by the Nigerian government who subsidized heavily on their training but the moment they graduate, they want to go to America and Europe to work but in America and Europe Doctors pay through their nose on student loans which they pay back in 30 years or more. We compare salaries but we do not compare tuition fees of both countries.
“Ask yourself”, he continued, “the fuel, the refineries, the PMS production, is it N165 per litre? Even if 100 Nigeria refineries are running it will not be so. This is where reggae comes in to inspire us to free ourselves from mental slavery,” he concluded.
The statistician General of the Federation and the chief executive officer of National Board of Statistics, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran while speaking with newsmen advised all present, particularly the youths to shun all forms of crime and criminality and be dedicated and hardworking as such would bring them the success they desire.
Other honoree include Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji L’ai Muhammed, His Royal Highness, Dr. Osazuwa Iduriase, the Enogie Of Eyaen, reggae super star, Orits Willkie, Hon. Peter Akpatason, Hon. Valentine Asuen, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, amongst others.