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NCAC boss launches Nigeria-Ghana friendship club to strengthen cultural promotion

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Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), on Friday launched the Nigeria-Ghana Friendship club to further strengthen cultural promotion and businesses between the two countries.

 

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I will not use public fund to gratify myself – Gov. AbdulrAzaq

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By

Esan

Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara says he will not use public fund and resources to enjoy and gratify himself at the expense of the masses that brought him to power.

AbdulRazaq said this on Monday in Ilorin in a speech delivered at the second edition of the annual Ilorin Grand Durbar.

Represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, the governor declared that public resources would only be applied strictly to public projects and overheads approved and budgeted for.

“We will not entertain excesses of any sort. With people’s interest as the guiding principle, we will do things differently and purposefully to get more impactful results.

“I appeal to this distinguished gathering of our people to unite behind this agenda for the progress of our community and generations yet unborn.

“Anything short of this will keep us moving in a circle and that would defeat the purpose of our people standing in the sun to vote the way they did.

“We must embrace reforms which are often tough at the beginning. We must make tough choices in our decision to move our state forward,” AbdulRazaq added.

The governor emphasised that prudent management of resources was necessary to drive growth.

He commended the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, and the Ilorin Emirate Council for organising the historical cultural event.

AbdulRazaq reiterated his resolve to institutionalise the various cultural activities in the state to boost tourism and economic growth, including the Durbar.

He described the Durbar as the heritage of Ilorin people and a testament to the bravery and valour of their forebears especially the royal lineage of Sheikh Alimi.

“Let me clarify this too. Kwara is immensely blessed with abundant natural and human resources, as the quality of attendance at this Durbar shows.

“Kwara is however not so rich in monetary terms. But that was not the reason for the slow development.

“The problem was that the little resources Kwara had was not going into building sustainable future.

“This is what we need to change, this is what we are changing, and that requires the support of all of you,” AbdulRazaq added.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Grand Durbar was attended by many prominent guests, sons and daughters of Ilorin from across the country and beyond.

They included Sen. Ibrahim Yahya Oloriegbe; Chief of Staff to the governor, Alhaji Adisa Logun; Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Oloyede; Alhaji Jani Ibrahim and Moshood Mustapha.

Others were Alhaji Lukman Mustapha; Mallam Olaolu Ali (SAN); former Vice Chancellors of University of Ilorin, Professors Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem and Abduganiyu Ambali; and Mallam Soliu Mustapha.

ESAN/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Nude dance: NCAC vows to use Tekno as scapegoat, to teach others lesson

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The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) says it will sanction a Nigerian Musician, Augustine Kelechi, popularly known as “Tekno”, and use him as a scapegoat to teach others serious lesson.

Its Director-General, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, made this assertion while reacting to the controversial music video in which Techno paraded nude dancers.

“No single person is bigger than Nigeria.

“We are going to use him as a scapegoat to send a strong signal that this government does not tolerate nonsense and immorality, but discipline, which is our moral principle,” Runsewe said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that a four-minute video showing half-naked women dancing in a transparent outdoor display truck in Lagos has been causing an uproar on social media since Aug. 2.

The truck showed the women dancing on a stripper pole, wearing only brassiers and underpants.

It was seen around the Toll Gate Plaza on Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos.

Tekno, in the video was seen throwing money perceived to be dollars at the young nude women.

Runsewe, in a statement by his media aide, Mr Frank Meke, described the offensive video as disgusting with scenes of four nude women dancing in a moving van on Lekki-Epe Expressway.

The director-general expressed disappointment that in spite of the ongoing investigations into the anomalies, Tekno still went ahead to release the offensive video to the public.

“NCAC is committed to exposing proponents of such kinds of offensive sights and videos in Nigeria,” Runsewe said.

The director-general said that security agencies would be directed to place Tekno on watch list, adding, “his conduct is a threat to national security”.

Runsewe said: “Since the offensive Tekno scam video came to limelight, I have received hundreds of telephone calls and SMS from Nigerians at home and others in United Kingdom, U.S, Canada and other parts of the world.

“They are querying why such anomaly could be tolerated in Nigeria.

“Now that he has released the shameful video, when investigation is still ongoing, we are going to inform security agencies to place him on their watch list.

“Because, his action is a threat to national security and bad influence on Nigerian youths.

“We warn that nudity is not part of our culture and should not be tolerated.

“The Federal Government will henceforth fish out such clubs for nude dancers across the country for their promoters to face prosecution.”

The NCAC chief, however, commended the police for arresting Tekno for the shameful misconduct, regretting that the same person, who was granted bail on health ground, had gone ahead to release the nude controversial video.

“We are now warning him to desist from this shameful conduct which is not part of our culture,” he said.

Runsewe said that Section 134 (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State (2015) stipulates that an indecent act in a public place made parties engaging in the act liable to imprisonment for two years.

“Section136, however, states that any person, who committed any act of gross indecency with another person in public, committed an offence and is liable upon conviction to three years imprisonment,” he said.

The official music video for his song, “Agege”, which was released on Thursday, showed Tekno in the moving van performing to the camera with the half-clad women dancing seductively.

The Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency had since suspended the advertising agency, which owned the display truck used in shooting the video, until the completion of its investigations.

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Life beer splashes over N10m to promote Igbo culture, high-life music

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Life Continental Lager Beer, a beverage in the staple of Nigeria Breweries Plc, has declared over N10 million prize money to support growth of Igbo traditional dance, culture and high-life music.

The beer brand is doling out the prize money through its ongoing “Rhythm of Progress Competition’’, designed to showcase up-coming Igbo traditional dance, culture display and high-life music among Igbo young talents.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the semi-finals held in Enugu on Thursday, Mr Chidi Egwu, Brand Manager of Life Beer, said that the competition was for talents from the Igbo speaking states of Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers.

Egwu, who expressed regret that hip-hop music was taking over the traditional music industry of the Igbo, said that the beer brand created the platform to preserve and project Igbo culture, dance and high-life to the world.

The brand manager said that South-East and Igbo speaking areas of the country were the natural home of Life Continental Lager Beer since it was brewed in Onitsha, Anambra, for over three decades.

Egwu noted that Life Beer had been part and parcel of the rich Igbo language and culture.

He lauded the participants in the semi-finals for displaying very high talents, adding that the overall winner of the competition would smile home with N5 million, while first and second runners up would receive N2 million and N1 million respectively.

According to him, “the crowd today here is mammoth and we believe it will be bigger during the grand finale in Onitsha on Sunday, Aug. 18.”

He said, “generally, we are trying to preserve our culture and present it to the world in a very reasonable and engaging way.

“So, for us, we want people not to feel ashamed of their culture. Hip-Hop is not our culture and we need to project our own culture which is high-life music.

“We are not only giving them prize money but we provide them with platform to showcase all their activities to the world.’’

Frank Onyeka, who is among the four singers that qualified for the finals, thanked Life Beer and his fans for believing in him and giving him the opportunity to showcase his talent to the world.

Onyeka said, “I see myself becoming the overall winner in Onitsha through the grace of God and support of all.”

Kenneth Ndubisi, Leader of Ofu Obi Cultural Troupe, noted that his group would put in more practice and effort to grab the N2 million prize for the best in the dance category.

Ndubuisi, whose group was among the three dance groups that qualified for the finals, thanked Life Larger Beer for promoting dancers and high-life talents in Igbo-land and God for endowing them with the talent.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the two singing contestants, who lost out in the semi-finals, smiled home with consolation prize money of N150,000 each.

The organisation also gave consolation gift items to the spectators.

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700 horses to be deployed for Ilorin Durbar

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No fewer than 700 horses are to be deployed for the Ilorin Durbar scheduled to hold on Monday, a day after the Eid-el-Kabir festival.

Alhaji Suleiman Alapasanpa, the Chairman of the Ilorin Emirate Durbar Committee, on Thursday in Ilorin disclosed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency .

Alapasanpa said that the 2019 event would be a big improvement over the maiden edition.

According to him, the event would feature some of the activities that could not be featured in the 2018 edition,  particularly horse racing.

He also said that the event would be beamed live on four gigantic television screens that would be strategically placed around the city to decongest the crowd at the palace.

“We are looking at about 700 horses from Niger Republic, Kebbi State, Katsina State and other northern states,” he said.

Alapasanpa further said that the event would boost the economy of Ilorin and Kwara as a whole.

He added  that the state was partnering with mobile network providers for quality service delivery all through the event.

“We don’t envisage as much crowd within the palace premises as we had in 2018 because of live transmission to ensure safety of lives and property.

“There is also a plan to showcase Ilorin pottery and clothing.

“We will serve our local delicacies like kangu, kulikuli, robo, masa, kunu and zobo drinks; a lot of our people will put on the aso ebi customised Durbar clothes,’’ he added.

Alapasanpa called on those with horses to come out and celebrate the cultural diversity of Ilorin.

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Udiroko Festival not fetish, says Ewi of Ado-Ekiti

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The Udiroko festival celebrated annually in Ado Ekiti is not fetish, but an avenue to unite Ado-Ekiti people across the globe, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi III, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, said on Wednesday.

The monarch made the assertion at a press briefing held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, in preparation for the 2019 Udiroko Festival slated hold from Aug. 12 to Aug. 20.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Udiroko Festival was established around 1310 AD during the reign of Oba Awamaro, the first Ewi of the present day of Ado-Ekiti.

It marks the first day of the year for the town’s inhabitants; it is usually a day people set aside to give thanks to their creator.

The name Udiroko was derived from the venue of the festival, which was beneath the big Iroko tree at Ewi’s Palace.

According to Aladesanmi III, the festival is a cultural celebration to showcase the historical, cultural and traditional potential of Ado-Ekiti people as a collective entity.

He said indigenes of Ado-Ekiti also use the opportunity to pray for themselves and the town for remarkable achievements recorded over the years.

“The festival has nothing to do with rituals, fetishism and idolism, as it usually starts with Jumat Service on Friday which immediately precedes the first day event of the week-long celebrations.

“It ends with Church thanksgiving service, and it is usually rotated annually among the various Churches in Ado-Ekiti.

“It is appropriate to say that there is nothing fetish or idolatry about Udiroko Festival.

“These aspects of the annual festival which start and end in prayers in the houses of God clearly indicate that the festival is not fetish by any standard and not shrouded in secrecy.

“Theme of the festival is: ‘Enforcing and Sustaining the Solidity of our History, Culture and Tradition.’’

“ Through this festival, we constantly celebrate our ancient past and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Ado people in ways that give currency to the past and precisely situate the present for the productive future,’’ he said.

The monarch said that Udiroko is a euphemistic expression of the significance of the first meeting of the Ado-Ekiti people under the Iroko tree to celebrate the founding of Ado Kingdom.

Aladesanmi III said this was under the kingship of the Ewi, who thereafter, gave a royal proclamation of the first gathering under the Iroko tree as the first day in the Ado-Ekiti calendar year.

“It is our hope that from now on, the Udiroko Festival will gain further international recognition that would propel it amidst its cultural peers in other kingdoms and climes,’’ he said.

Earlier, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, the Director-General, Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, said the state government had decided to partner Ado-Ekiti people to rebrand the festival, globalise its celebration and seek marketers for the festival.

Ojo-Lanre said this was to make the festival become self-sustaining and involve Ado-Ekiti indigenes in the diaspora, as well as those outside the shores of Ekiti.

“We have noticed the energy and vigour with which the Ewi and the people of Ado prepare and celebrate Udiroko annually,’’ he said.

Edited by Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye

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