`Aso-ebi’: Gate Pass to Social Gatherings
A News Analysis by Busayo Onijala, News Agency of Nigeria
A popular Yoruba adage says, “Eni o wo ankara o je semo” meaning: the guest who does not wear uniform fabrics, popularly called `Aso ebi’ will not eat at the social gathering the fabric is meant to celebrate.
‘Aso ebi’, usually worn by family members and friends at ceremonies, has in contemporary times, become the gate pass to social events such as weddings, burials, harvests, ordination of religious leaders, political rallies and campaigns in Nigeria. It gives a sense of belonging to those who adorn them during the events. It equally makes the celebrator to feel loved and important.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Aso ebi’ is a uniform-attire traditionally worn in Nigeria and in some other West African countries as an indicator of cooperation and solidarity during ceremonies and festive periods. `Aso ebi’ can be made with Ankara, Lace, ‘Aso oke’ (hand woven fabrics), Damask, George, `atiku’, `Senator’, and a host of others materials for both men and women.
`Aso ebi’ adds beauty, colour and glamour and grandeur to events.
Analysts note that guests who wear ‘Aso ebi’ to social functions are usually believed to have directly or indirectly contributed to the success of such functions.
They also argue that those determined to identify with a celebrator through adorning of `Aso ebi’ often do not mind the quality or market value of the fabric.
According to analysts, a guest who refuses to adorn ‘Aso ebi’ may receive cold reception especially from ushers at the event no matter how highly placed or influential he may be.
Thus, most guests purchase ‘Aso ebi’ and appear in them on the day of the events, whether convenient or not, just to fulfill all righteousness, since they are not likely to wear them after that day.
It is also believed that some people see the purchasing of these outfits as an opportunity to acquire more clothes as they may not have the time to go to markets to buy fabrics.
A fashion designer, Mrs Seun Olujide, says an average of 10 ladies send ‘Aso ebi’ to her shop for sewing weekly because of one event or the other.
“This keeps us busy, helps us to hone our designing skills, and deepens our mastery of the art while we make a living from it.
“When our clients wear their fabrics, it gives them a sense of belonging when they get to the event venue because no one likes to feel left out. We are also fulfilled as fashion designers when our clients bring us commendation from their friends and admirers about our works.
“Personally, when I attend a wedding in ‘Aso ebi’, it increases my confidence. I don’t feel like outcast or someone who does not want to support her friend or family member,” she says.
Mr Ojo Ogidi, however, notes that some people exploit ‘Aso ebi’ buyers by selling to them at high prices, noting that this makes such people unable to sell more packs of `Aso ebi’ because some intending buyers would have carried out market survey and observed the exploitation.
“To beat such pranks, two or more potential buyers will jointly buy just a set, instead of the individuals buying a set each,’’ he argues.
A civil servant, Mr Funmi Ajayi, says she teamed up with four others and bought a set of lace materials for a wedding which the event host sold at a skyrocketing price.
“We decided to buy a set and share it among ourselves. Each of us gave to our fashion designer who combined it with other matching fabrics and sewed.
“Our host gave us a single gift which we gave to the oldest among us.
Mrs Boluwatife Alabi of April Fabrics, Lagos, is of the opinion that an event without ‘Aso ebi’ is incomplete.
“What is a wedding without the ‘Aso ebi’ ladies? What is a celebration of life without friends and family members cladding in `Aso ebi’ of various materials and styles?
“I make it a point of duty to select the best fabrics for my clients because the more colourful the fabrics, the more colourful the event will be,’’ the fabrics seller argues.
She explains that `Aso ebi’ sellers add a little amount to the market price of the fabrics to cover the cost of souvenirs to be given to guests.
“ I am aware of instances where certain amount are added to the cost price by organisers, but that is to cover for souvenirs that will be distributed to guests during the function.”
A student, Miss Itunu Asamany, believes that ‘Aso ebi’ is vital to social functions as it serves as a means of identification with age mates, relatives, groups or friends.
“It always makes such events beautiful, colourful and well organised. The bride during her wedding will be able to identify her friends and close relatives by what they wear,’’ she says.
Asamany, however, condemns charging of outrageous prices for ‘Aso ebi’ by some celebrators. She is convinced that the high prices are exploitative and can discourage many potential `aso-ebi’ buyers.
“Some people go as far as adding 30 per cent of the cost price to the selling price; this is not fair at all.
“I won’t break a bank to please my friend. If the selling price of the ‘Aso ebi’ is beyond my budget, I will not buy it but go for what is within my power.”
However, a trader, Mr Koko Adeola, has a different view. He says he will not mind spending a huge amount of money on `Aso ebi’ for close friends but won’t bother doing so for an acquaintance.
“I will not buy an expensive “Aso ebi’’ from someone who is just an acquaintance. The level of relationship I have with you will determine whether I will attend your function in `Aso ebi’. A major advantage of ‘Asoebi’ is that it helps to identify invited guests from those who gate-crashed,’’ he says.
He observes that `Aso ebi’ is less expensive for men. “Men are lucky when it comes to buying `Aso ebi’ because, many times, all they need to buy is just the cap which may not cost more than N500.’’
A businesswoman, Ada Mbah, is worried that `Aso ebi’ can breed unhealthy rivalry between families, especially, during entertainment and sharing of gifts at events.
“Why should the family and friends of the groom be refused food and drinks because they are wearing a different fabric (`Aso ebi’) from those of the bride?
“I attended an event without wearing the ‘Aso ebi’ and I was told that only people with the uniform would be entertained and given gifts.
“I was embarrassed because I bought the fabric but did not wear it to that particular occasion. I really felt bad because I was addressed very rudely and treated like outcast.
Mbah’s friend, Deborah Ige, is of the opinion that a guest can still be treated badly even when wearing Aso ebi. She recalls when she was ignored during entertainment at a ceremony even with her `Aso ebi’.
“I bought the fabric for the event, but when it was time for entertainment, I only got a bottle of water.’’
According to her, getting the required attention during social gatherings with or without ‘Aso ebi’ will depend on planning.
“ There are instances where the population of the guests is more than what the host has budgeted for; he or she will resort to rationing foods and drinks,’’ she argues.
A marketer, Mr Joseph Omojola, is of the opinion that since `Aso ebi’ has become the trending gate pass to events whether secular or religious, there is the need for more security consciousness to ensure that criminal elements do not disguise as family members or friends by wearing the ‘Aso ebi’.
Analysts are convinced that wearing `Aso ebi’ is a major way of promoting African culture, and if well managed, will reduce foreign influence on Africans’ dressing.
They suggest that African governments should do more to promote local production of the indigenous fabrics at affordable costs and consider using them for school uniforms and office wears on certain days of the week.(NNNFeatures)
If used, please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria
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Niger govt. inaugurates 2020 farming season, subsidizes inputs
The Niger State government on Thursday inaugurated the 2020 farming season and announced subsidies for essential farming inputs to farmers in the state.
At the event, Gov. Abubakar Bello said the administration would provide fertilizers to farmers for the season in collaboration with fertiliser dealers and companies.
“This framework entails shifting from direct procurement and distribution of fertilisers by government and allowing the private sector to drive the process through their own networks.
“This means that government will now provide subsidies for fertilisers, assorted seeds and agro-chemicals to small scale farmers using the private sector,” he said.
Bello said that the policy would give smallholder farmers access to vital production inputs.
The governor, who was represented by Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government, said that the exercise would eliminate middlemen, ease availability and access to genuine fertilizers and other inputs.
He said that 15,000 metric tons of fertilisers made up of 10,000 metric tons of NPK and 5,000 metric tons of Urea would be delivered to designated government fertiliser stores in the 25 local government areas for sale to farmers.
He said that other inputs such as improved varieties of assorted seeds and weed control chemicals had been made available at the sales point for easy access by farmers.
“These inputs include 457 metric tons of assorted seeds and 107,050 litres of assorted agro-chemicals,” the governor said.
Bello said that government had given approval for rehabilitation of five irrigation schemes at Chanchaga, Agaie, Jamaare, Tamanai and Lioji.
At the occasion, Alhaji Shehu Galadima, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria in the state, urged government to tackle insecurity in some parts of the state to enable farmers go back to farm.
Galadima appealed to government to pay attention to the issue of adulterated fertilizers circulating in the state to curtail the negative effect this will have on farm produce.
He lauded government for making fertilizers and other inputs available, adding that the gesture would cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 on farmers.
English Premier League agrees on 5 substitutes for season restart
There are 92 outstanding fixtures with the majority of teams facing nine matches in a six-week period.
“For the remainder of the 2019/2020 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players,” a Premier League statement said after a meeting of shareholders on Thursday.
Clubs will be able to have nine substitutes on the bench, up from the usual seven.
Rainy season: NSCDC warns Jigawa residents against dumping of refuse in drains
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) , Jigawa Command, has warned residents of the state against dumping refuse in drains as the rainy season approaches.
The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Alhaji Garba Muhammad, gave the warning in a statement signed by the command’s spokesperson, Adamu Shehu, in Dutse on Thursday.
Mohammad said the warning was imperative in order to avoid flooding as the rainy season was approaching.
“With the approaching of the rainy season and the occasional rainstorm being experienced along with it over the weeks.
“Causing destructions of buildings, trees and electrical installations in many places especially within the state capital, it has shown that torrential downpour may be experienced in due course.
“As such, it has become imperative to caution the general public against blocking the drains with refuse.
“The command, therefore, warns the public against blocking drains with garbage and sand to avert flooding, which could lead to destruction of property and sometimes, lives.
“It is on this note that the the command wishes to draw the attention of members of the general public to inculcate the habit of community service in the evacuation of the already blocked drains to give way to free flow of rainwater,” the commandant said.
He advised the residents not to solely rely on the government to maintain and protect the environment from flooding.
According to him, the government has played its part by providing the drains.
Palestinian farmers collect corns during harvest season in Gaza strip city of Khan Younis
Planting season: Women group seeks timely support for farmers
Hajia Bosede Anifowose, the Kwara Coordinator of the Small Scale Women Farmers’ Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), has called for timely support from the state government for the planting season.
Anifowose made the call on Wednesday in Ilorin in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .
She said that late release of farm inputs and agro-chemicals as support for farmers would be inimical to a prosperous farming season.
The coordinator appealed to the government to capture women farmers in whatever programmes it had for farmers in the state.
She said that women farmers constituted a chunk of farmers’ population in the state and the country at large.
“The way everything is silent is not too good for farmers. We are yet to hear from government on what they have for us.
“We had a meeting recently and the government officials there promised that government will provide supports.
“But whatever support government wants to do for farmers, particularly women farmers should be done now that new planting season has just commenced so that it won’t be too late.
“We have cases in the past where inputs and agro-chemicals are released late to farmers and this used to affect our harvests.
“We have been asked to submit a list of our members for supports and I have been in the ministry of finance many times to enquire about what government has for us but nothing is forthcoming.”
Anifowose advised the state government not to pay lip service to crop farming, saying it was shocking that there was budget line only for livestock farming during the budget review session.
She said that the group would need support on government for irrigation to ensure round year farming among its members.
Premier League clubs can play friendlies before season restart – reports
Premier League clubs have been given the green light to take part in friendlies with strict protocols in place as they prepare for the restart of England’s top-flight season on June 17, British media reported on Tuesday.
Venues must not be more than 90 minutes away and players will need to travel in their own cars and arrive in full kit, according to Sky Sports.
Matches will be refereed by members of the clubs’ coaching staff and players involved need to have returned a negative test for COVID-19, the reports said.
The Premier League, which has nine rounds remaining, has been suspended since mid-March but clubs have since returned to group training, with the government giving elite sport permission to return from June 1.
Leicester City Manager, Brendan Rodgers said the Midlands club will stage practice games at the King Power Stadium to help players get up to speed.
“We’ll look at trying to prepare as best as we can for that. We’ll have some practice games in our own stadium before we play, so they’ll feel and get a sense of that,” Rodgers told British media.
2020 farming season:Institute advises farmers to extend planting of crops
Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) Zaria, Kaduna State, has advised farmers to extend planting date of crops by at least two weeks beyond normal planting period to enhance production in the 2020 wet season farming.
The Executive Director of the Institute, Prof. Mohammed Ishiyaku, gave the advice in a statement issued on Tuesday in Zaria.
Ishiyaku advised farmers to use medium maturing variety where available, or further delay planting of early maturing variety that were available with them.
“A nitrogen fertilizer that is NPK 20:10:10 should be applied in at least three splits for cereal crops like maize, sorghum and millet in the region.
“In essence, fertilizer should be applied during planting as first dose, second dose should be applied two weeks after planting, while the last application should be at six weeks after planting,’’ Ishiyaku said.
Ishiyaku said the advice was part of the recommendations of a meeting between IAR, Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and other stakeholders.
Ishiyaku said that key issues that required urgent attention of policy makers, farmers and other key stakeholders included prediction and projection of delay in onset of rainfall and delay in cessation of rainfall in the northern and southern guinea savannahs.
He said the total amount of rainfall to be expected in 2020 would be similar with previous years, except that the number of rainy days would decrease.
He said with this, farmers were therefore advised to plant crop varieties that had the medium maturity period to escape floods and harvest losses due to anticipated prolonged rainfall.
“ A moderate increase in the intensity of rainfall will be experienced during the 2020 rainy season which may result in flooding and excessive water for certain crops like maize, thereby causing harvest rots and washing off fertilizer,’’ Ishiyaku said.
AfDB President visits Aso Villa, meets Buhari
NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and Adesina was unknown as at the time of filing this report.
Buhari noted that a report dated May 5, 2020, signed by Niale Kaba, Chairman of the Bureau of the Board of Governors, indicated that Dr Adesina had been exonerated of allegations against him by whistleblowers.
The allegations were thoroughly investigated by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, and a recommendation made to Governors of the African Development Bank, and African Development Fund.
“On the basis of the results contained in the report of the committee, I am of the view that we should adopt its conclusions by declaring that the President is totally exonerated of all the allegations made against him,’’ the report by Kaba indicated.
However, the U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, had called for an independent probe into the allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had, in May, written a letter to some former leaders on the African continent to rally their support for Adesina, who has come under severe pressure mounted by the US government as he seeks a second term at the helm of affairs of the bank.
Edo APC Primaries: Obaseki visits Aso Villa, seeks Buhari’s blessing
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed door with Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the meeting which was at the instance of the governor, came ahead of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled for June, 2020.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Obaseki said he was in the Presidential Villa to formally intimate the president of his intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The governor, who is believed to be at loggerhead with the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, over his second term ambition, presented his Expression of Interest form to the president for blessing.
“I came to see Mr President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo State on the platform of the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“As a father of the country, as our president I should not just assume or take things for granted – I have to come to inform him and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid, and the president was quiet warm and quiet welcoming.
“When I showed him my Expression of Interest form, he looked through it and teased me that he would not have to go through this again and wished me good luck and assured me of his support,’’ he said.
On the political tussle in Edo, the governor stated that the crisis was being instigated from outside the state.
Obaseki also described the political misunderstanding between him and Oshiohmole as very unfortunate, saying however that he was ready to reach a truce with all aggrieved members of the APC.
“It is unfortunate that he (Oshiohmole) is taking the position he has taken. I believe that he was not properly guided.
“I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens.
“I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward.
“The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do,’’ he stated.
According to the governor, he has the full support of his counterparts, all the governors elected on the platform of the APC, in line with the principles of the party, which encourages continuity.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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