The social –cultural –tourism – economic integration of Africa which Motherland Beckons is propagating via the East–West Africa Economic Amalgamation came to fruition on Thursday, 1 June, 2017, at La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Ikegun Village, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos when Destination Al–Najash/Lalibela was formally inaugurated and set for operation.
The Ethiopian Ambassador to Nigeria His Excellency Ambassador Samia Zekaria Gutu, who led a delegate of the Embassy staff, Mr Solomon Begashaw, General Manager, Ethiopian Airlines and Motherland Beckons initiator, Ambassador Wanle Akinboboye co-hosted a deluge of media practitioners, tour operators and tourism stakeholders who were let into the essence of Destination Al–Najash/Lalibela.
Motherland Beckons packaged the inauguration of the usual project in an unusual African style which commenced with the rendition of both Nigerian National Anthems and that of Ethiopia in a most fascinating cultural way which brought out the beauty of the African drum.
Adding value of importance to the inauguration was Prince Adekunle Luquman Adeyemo, who gave an insight into the importance of Destination Al – Najash / Lalibela.
Ambassador Akinboboye revealed “The first step to quicken the liquidation of the schisms which have set African nations apart from and against themselves is by enhancing the socio-cultural- tourism and religious values which hankers more on what united us than those which deepen the gulf of disharmony”
He pointed out “Destination Al–Najash/Lalibela is both religious and cultural adventure to Ethiopia. It will afford us all to appreciate the unity in religion and the value in hospitality. It will also enable both the Christians and the Muslim to understand the harmonious relationship between the two religions and the necessity of travelling, knowledge gathering and passion.”
Ambassador Akinboboye said “We are initiating a movement of people. Of economy, of unity, of productive engagement. We are connecting people of both sides from Nigeria – Ethiopia and Ethiopia – Nigeria to create mutual understanding, lubricate relationship and commerce and close the gap of misinformation”.
He revealed “every Christian and muslim should endeavour to visit Al–Najash/Lalibela. These two places are testimonies of perfect example of how African unity and world harmony can be nurtured, grow and matured”.
Ambassador Akinboboye said “The case of Al Najash is not only a case of the first Mosque in Ethiopia, rather it is a case of visiting a Christian kingdom headed by a Christian king who turned his abode to a refuge for persecuted Muslims running from dangers in Mecca . It is a case of when Prophet Mohammed, a Muslim sent words to a Christian king in far Abyssinia and dispatched members of his family to be kept for safety. And it is a story of tolerance, affection, building bridges and oiling chord of relationship”.
He assured, “With the support of the Ethiopian government , the active collaboration of the Ethiopian Embassy in Nigeria as dignified by the Ambassador and the logistic commitment of the Ethiopian Airlines , Motherland Beckons is in topmost gear of making Destination Al–Najash / Lalibela an outstanding success”
Responding , Ambassador Samia Zekaria Gutu commended the motivator of Motherland beckons, Ambassador Akinboboye for planting what she described as one of the best resorts in the world.
“I must first commend Ambassador Akinboboye for this lovely resort and the various exciting dances, drumming, chanting and songs which have been on display here at this beautiful arena beside the ocean. I must particularly mention the wonderful way with which Ethiopian national anthem was rendered with drumming as if those who did are Ethiopians. This is not only wonderful, but a testimony to the fact that the business at hand is in good fate”.
Ambassador Zekaria Gutu said “we are also glad that Ambassador Akinboboye has found profitable adventure in Al – Najash / Lalibela, which the government and people of Ethiopia are in support and collaboration”.
She pointed out “We are impressed by the stride of Ambassador Akinboboye in resort inauguration, management and promotion. Although we have no sea in our country, but the government of Ethiopia has secured about 90 hectares of land for Ambassador Akinboboye to replicate what is here in our country”
Ambassador Gutu disclosed “Destination Al Najash/Lalibela will not only generate better understanding between the two countries, but also lubricate the chord of commerce, inter- faith understanding and unity.”
Mr Solomon Begashaw , Ethiopian Airlines General Manger , said “We at the Ethiopian airlines are not only a stakeholder in this adventure in Destination Al – Najash / Lalibela, but we assure all of superb service enroute to Ethiopia”.
Prince Adeyemo revealed “The Destination Al–Najash/Lalibela package will soon be out and we are going to take it to the door mouth of every Nigerians. We will make sure that you are not left out in this West – East Economic Amalgamation typified by this.”