As the nation continues to experience security and economic challenges, the Oyo State government has emphasized its commitment to position culture and tourism to boost its economic growth and development.
The Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Akeem Ademola Ige stated this shortly after receiving an award presented to him at the celebration of Asa Day 2021 held at Ori Oke Tarmac, Cultural Centre, Mokola, Ibadan.
The programme was organized by the Asa Day Worldwide Incorporation, Canada in conjunction with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism representing the Oyo State government with the theme: Let’s use our Cultural Heritage to Revive our Economy” to commemorate World Cultural Day, 2021.
Hon. Ige was awarded alongside the wives of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Ayaba (Chief) Ramat Adedayo Adeyemi and Olori (Chief) Rashidat Ololade Adetunji.
Others included Yeye Mojisola Meshioye, Chairman of Fresh FM radio station, Dr Olayinka Joel Ayefele, Mogaji Kola Olootu, Dr Akintunde Ayeni among others.
Hon. Ige explained that Oyo State stands a very good chance of surviving the current economic meltdown facing the entire country with the resolve of the government under the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde to focus more on Cultural tourism.
In their goodwill messages at the occasion, the National Vice Chairman South West of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams and the Iyaloja of Ibadanland all described the celebration of Asa day programme as a right direction towards promoting the rich Yoruba cultural heritage.
Earlier in his speech, the President, Asa Day Worldwide and Convener, Asa Day 2021, Prince Olaniyi Oyatoye disclosed that the idea to hold the world gathering of culture was conceived in 2018 with a vision to export the Yoruba’s culture before the Canadian people.
He hinted that the Ibadan was chosen for this year edition for its pace setting status and for the fact that it is the home of culture and Oyo State at large after two successive editions in Toronto and Manitoba, Canada in 2018 and 2019 respectfully.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion included former first Lady of Oyo State, Alhaja Mutiat Olayinka Ladoja, Alhaja Modinat Abosede Adedibu, PDP Women Leader South West, wife of the former deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mrs Abiodun Arapaja, the Olubadan of Ibadanland represented by Oloye Lekan Alabi, Chairman and members of the Oyo State Tourism Board. Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre, Senior Special Assistant to the Ekiti State Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Also in attendance were Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun and other top officials from the ministry, members of the State House of assembly led by Hon. Isiaka Arole Chairman House committee on Tourism and Culture.
Similarly, Hon. Mojeed Mogbanjubola Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Bolanle Sarumi, Hon. Femi Josiah, Imam Rasheed Azeez, Hon. Fatai Adesina, Hon. Bamidele Ojo, Saheed Mr. Sport, Hon. Waheed Kola Akintayo Ilumoka Presenter, members of Theatre and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) were also in attendance.