OBJECTIVES OF BADAGRY FESTIVAL
It was in the recognition of the unique historical antecedent of not only being host to earliest European explorers to Nigeria but its role in the growth, development and abolition of the slave trade and a deep reflection on their vicissitudes in the eye of history as it relates to the dark days of slavery and the eventual liberation and freedom from the evil of slave trade that the people celebrate the Badagry Festival.
Badagry festival, therefore, exemplifies the creative power of history: reconstructing the tragic contextual features of the past history of a people for celebration of freedom and emancipation. The history, in this circumstance, is the history of the continent of Africa as it relates to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade of which Badagry played quite significant role in its growth, development and abolition along the coast of West Africa.
- The Badagry Festival, therefore, serves a historical and cultural bridge between mother Africa and the African descents in the Diaspora.
- It reminiscences the history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and celebrates the heroism of black race in the face of iron and blood struggles for liberation, freedom and egalitarianism of the Blackman the world over.
- It is a renaissance celebration of African history, the heroism of its people, culture and Arts across the globe.
- It seeks, amongst many other laudable objectives, to create a global platform for the gradual re-integration of the Africans in the diaspora back to their ancestral and cultural roots and thereby contributing to socio-economic development of Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.
- It seeks to propagate the objective of the UNESCO slave route project and enhance the African Union objectives on Back to Africa campaign by giving rise to historical research and intellectual debates and discussions on subject matter through the annual organisation of symposium/colloquium and workshop.
- It is a festival celebrated to sensitize the people towards the need for the preservation and conservation of Africa’s rich cultural heritage both the tangible and intangible.
Consequently, in the wisdom of the organisers of the festival with the approval of His Royal Majesty, De Wheno Aholu-Menu Toyi I (OFR, LL.D., JP), the Akran of Badagry, the Royal Council and of course the Local Government and the good people of Badagry, it becomes a standing policy to make annual dedication of the festival to African descents in the diaspora either late or living who have distinguished themselves in the course of human history and development particularly as it relates to the history of the black race. The overall idea is to engender and strengthen a sense of belonging and brotherliness in our brothers and sisters whose forefathers were uprooted from their cultural and natural environment during the dark era of slave trade.