He stated that the window of relationship sustained by the thriving community of Brazilian Descendants in Lagos Island deserves federal government assistance by considering its festival into Nigeria’s cultural calendar.
He commended Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his support and recognition of efforts by Brazilian Descendants Association in preserving the history, heritage and architecture of Brazilian-Nigerians in diaspora on Lagos Island.
The Minister who was represented by the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) Otunba Segun Runsewe, said that the first generation of Nigerians who were taken by the Portuguese slave merchants left enduring legacies of Yoruba culture, which today has become a veritable platform of cultural and historical relationship between Nigeria and Brazil.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Afro-Brazilian Cultural Centre in Brazilian Quarters, Popo Aguda, Lagos Island on Easter Monday, the Minister noted that the center would not only preserve the historical narratives of Nigerian descendants in Brazil but would also encourage and foster deep relationship with the government and people of Brazil.
“I thank Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwuolu for the support and encouragement to the Brazilian Descendants Association for preserving the architecture of Brazilian Descendants community in Lagos Island dating centuries old,” Alhaji Mohammed explained further.
Wife of Lagos Governor, Dr (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu who declared the Afro Brazilian Descendants Center opened, praised the efforts of the association and noted that carnival festival celebration in Lagos nay Nigeria was made manifest by the Brazilian Descendants community in Lagos Island.
She commended the presence of the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and his representative Otunba Segun Runsewe whom she described as pivot of Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy.
Chairman, Brazil Descendants Association and former Solicitor General of Lagos State, Hon (Barrister) Lawal Pedro disclosed that the association is collaborating with state government to establish Afro Brazilian Museum as a way of encouraging studies and research of Lagos descendants in Brazil.
“This is to encourage our descendants to donate some of their priceless items for the museum for preservation,” he added.
He noted that the Afro Brazilian Descendants Center is where researches on Afro Brazilian history can be carried out as well as how Brazilian cultures were brought to Lagos.
The event was witnessed by Brazil Consul General in Nigeria, Mr Francisco Luz and other diplomats. A mini carnival festival was also held with COVID-19 protocols observed.