Featured as a black world's fair, FESTAC produced an extravagant spectacle of ethnic diversity, Nigerian nationalism, Pan-African unity and utopian modernity which literally staged as "cultural tradition" in Nigeria's National theatre. Throughout this festival of cultural revival, from its planning stages in Lagos to the closing Durbar ceremony in Kaduna, a distinctive ideology of black culture and Africanity emerged which owed much to early ideas of Negritude and Pan-Africanism, but in key respects diverged from them. This divergence can be identified in specific events, such as the falling out between Lt-General Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria's Head of State and Grand Patron of FESTAC, and Senegal's President Leopold Senghor, who abdicated his position as FESTAC's co-patron and virtually boycotted the festival. It can also be understood in relation to Nigeria's distinctive federalism, which, recently traumatized by the Biafran War (1966-70), sought to stabilize the distribution of political power between competing ethnic blocs. But the underlying "secret' of FESTAC's cultural project, motivating its representations of culture and race, was the development of a state-regulated oil economy which revitalized the nation with unprecedented wealth.
From World Afropedia