THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, with the approval of Ooni -in-Council, publicly declared Dr (Mrs) Sally Mbanefo, Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, as the Moremi of Ile Ife as Mrs Mbanefo has incredible positive energy.
Oba Ogunwusi described Mrs Mbanefo as a special gift to the cultural-tourism sector and has proved to all that someone’s tribe has nothing to do with their performance at a national position. “She is not Yoruba yet she appreciates our culture. She is not Hausa but she has visited the North.”
The Ooni noted that although Mrs Mbanefo is not Yoruba but “she has contributed immensely to the promotion of Yoruba cultural tourism than any of her predecessors, adding that she was the first Director-General of NTDC who did not only declare her interest in promotion of domestic tourism but has been consistent in attending and identifying with major cultural-tourism festivals in Yoruba land as well as in other parts of the country.”
The Imperial Majesty revealed that “the Imperial Palace of Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race has a conspicuous record of Mrs Sally Mbanefo’s passionate cultural relationship with Ife not only by attending its cultural festivals but also participating actively, demonstrating her passion and likeness to Moremi of old.”
Expressing the approval of the Ife people, a former Honourable member of the Tourism Committee in the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Makinde, who formally gave the vote of thanks on behalf of Ile-Ife also described the declaration of Mrs Mbanefo as Moremi of Ile Ife by the Ooni as most apt, commendable and eminently deserved because while he was a member of the tourism committee he observed her as very passionate in promoting domestic tourism in Nigeria and has been a woman of integrity.
Ambassador Wanle Akinboboye also eulogized the footprints of the DG whom he said has known for almost 30 years as a very serious career woman of integrity.
“I am humbled by all the gestures and promise to live up to expectation of all tourism stakeholders while I jointly declare Ife as a tourism zone,” Mrs Mbanefo responded.