The FESTAC'77 event held which held in Lagos 40 years ago is still generating mixed reactions.

Some have said it was demonic while other say it was fetish.

But a former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday dismissed insinuations that FESTAC'77 was fetish.

He insisted that it was a celebration of Africa's diverse and rich cultural heritage.

Obasanjo, who was the military leader at that time, made the clarification during the opening of the commemoration of FESTAC’77 @40 at the University of Lagos.

He said that many Nigerians took the festival as a celebration beyond the physical but failed to realise that it was a celebration of Africa's rich cultural diversities.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FESTAC'77 @40 was organised by Centre for Black African Arts and Civilisation (CBAC).

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Nigeria hosted the First World Blacks and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos in 1977.

Addressing the gathering, Obasanjo described culture as the totality of the way of life of any group of people, adding that a people that lost its culture had lost its identity.

"Our culture enables us to remember our past which is history and that is why history is important in our schools; to forget history is to lose our memory", Obasanjo said.

"We must not accept the narrative given to us by others, stories of helplessness, poverty and all.

"They are not true of us because this is where human beings emanated from to occupy other parts of the world.

"Africa is not a poor continent. We want the world to know that we want to be part of the decision makers in the world we live in. We can do it and we must do it," Obasanjo said.

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