Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed has blamed the adoption of foreign cultures, traditions and religions for the destruction of many African countries.
Mr Mohammed made the declaration at the opening of the sixth edition of the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The 70-year-old said that if the African continent had been left alone with its culture, tradition and religion, it would have developed better and at its own pace.
A statement made available by Mohammed’s spokesperson Segun Adeyemi on Saturday quoted the minister as saying “When we look back to what happened to us in Africa, we see that in trying to bring a new religion, they destroyed our cultures.
“In destroying our cultures, they did not only destroy our ways of life, but also the essence of our lives.
“Most of the destruction on the African continent today emanated from that action.”
Mohammed also told newsmen at the summit that Death and the King’s Horseman, a play by Nobel Laureate Prof. Whole Soyinka captured the essence of the destruction purportedly done to African cultures and traditions through colonial incursion.
“In the play, you would see that the British colonialists simply did not understand why the king’s horseman should die with the king and he was arrested.
“In arresting him, they thought they were protecting him not knowing that they were destroying the whole cultural and traditional ecosystem,” the minister said.
Mohammed also noted that African countries’ medicines and healthcare systems were rooted in their cultures, but rather than the colonialists understanding them, they were frightened and destroyed their essence.