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
Ekiti conducive for tourism investment – Gov. Fayemi’s aide
Wale Ojo-Lanre, Senior Special Assistant on Tourism Development to Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, has urged intending investors to visit the state as it remains conducive for investment.
Ojo-Lanre made the call while hosting Ayo Olumoko, Vice-President, South West, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), who led the newly elected members of the Executive Council of FTAN, Ekiti Chapter on a courtesy call in Ado Ekiti.
He said that Ekiti Government was ready and willing to reinforce, assist, support, cooperate and collaborate with FTAN at making sure that the state reaped bountifully and participate judiciously in the global tourism economy.
Ojo-Lanre noted that Gov. Fayemi had planted his name in the tourism history of Ekiti as the most tourism-friendly governor.
He added that throughout his two terms, he had placed Ekiti tourism in the front burner of global relevance and reference.
“Fayemi has created a conducive environment for tourism activities and investment to blossom and thrive.
“Fayemi has within the last 12 months, resuscitated the hitherto moribund Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture and recreated Ekiti State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism.
“He also appointed a new Commissioner, initiating the legal framework on tourism and also appointed a Senior Special Assistant on tourism development.
“All these are testimonies of his vision at ensuring that tourism economy grows and blossoms in Ekiti,” Ojo-Lanre said in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Sunday.
The senior special assistant said that Fayemi, being a cosmopolitan person believed that tourism was better driven by the private sector.
He noted that the governor was doing everything humanly possible at ensuring a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to reap the dividends of tourism in Ekiti.
Ojo-Lanre said because of these and other factors, the state government heartily welcomed the birth and berth of FTAN in the state as it would spearhead the growth of a solid tourism economy in the state.
He applauded Olumoko for his proactive strides and tenacity of purpose since his election as FTAN vice-president.
In his response, Olumoko commended Gov. Fayemi whom he described as a purpose-driven governor with a heart and soul of getting the best for his people.
He said, “Of all the states in the South-West, Fayemi has distinguished himself as a tourism-friendly governor who understood the import and essence of a fully developed tourism economy.
“I am also confident that with these seasoned and experienced men and women in the industry, Ekiti is set to make a statement in the comity of tourism states,” he said.
Olumoko presented the Executive Council of FTAN in Ekiti chapter as: Dr Oluwole Ajayi, Tourism Management, Special Adviser; Dr Abioye Adedipe, Tourism and Hospitality, Coordinator; Mr Jide Fajuyi, Secretary; Mr Deolu Oyebode, Mobilisation, Communication and Marketing.
Others were: Kolapo Temitope, Assistant MCM; and Busayo Owajoba, State Treasurer.
He noted that these were those who would run the affairs of the association in Ekiti.
He canvassed for a symbiotic relationship between FTAN and the Ekiti State Tourism Development, saying that with a synergy of purpose between the two, tourism business in Ekiti would gain some improvements.
Olumoko noted that FTAN was the only recognised umbrella platform for all tourism and hospitality associations and operators in Nigeria.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Gov. Fayemi congratulates ex-Secretary for Health, Adelusi Adeluyi at 80
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Saturday congratulated former Secretary for Health, Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi on his 80th birthday, describing him as a man of excellence in service delivery.
Fayemi, in a congratulatory message made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, extolled Adeluyi’s “exemplary life of brilliance, excellence and distinction”.
Adelusi-Adeluyi was the nation’s Secretary for Health during the Interim National Government (ING) headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Adelusi-Adeluyi, a renowned Pharmacist, is currently theChairman, Ekiti State Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Resource Mobilisation Committee.
The governor noted the former minister of health had a unique way of excelling in everything he did.
Fayemi described the Ado Ekiti-born Pharmacist as a patriot.
He noted that the celebrator had made positive impact in Nigeria and particularly in Ekiti where he is currently playing a significant role in the battle against coronavirus as chairman of the COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilisation Committee.
He said that Adelusi-Adeluyi brought his enormous goodwill and wide contacts to bear on the work of the Committee by donating generously and also mobilising a network of high net worth individuals to donate to the Committee’s fund.
“I am particularly proud of your exemplary life of brilliance, excellence and distinction as one of Ekiti icons who have made tremendous impact on Nigeria as pathfinder in several ways.
“I salute your patriotism which has shown in many instances, including in locating a branch of the famous Juli Pharmacy in Ado Ekiti many years ago,” Fayemi said.
The governor described the former minister as one of the nation’s most illustrious industrialists, business administrators and philanthropists.
He urged the younger generation to emulate Adelusi-Adeluyi’s diligence, patriotism and commitment to excellence.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Gov Fayemi recovers from COVID-19 after 11 days in isolation
by Ariwodola Idowu
Ado Ekiti, Aug 01, 2020, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has recovered from COVID-19, after 11 days in isolation.
Fayemi , in the early hours of Saturday confirmed this new development on his verified Twitter handle.
The governor thanked God and his numerous well wishers across the globe for his recovery for their prayers and support.
NAN reports that he announced that he had been infected with the virus 11 days ago and consequently proceeded on self isolation.,
Shortly after then, State Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Muyiwa Olumilua, announced in a statement, that wife of the Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, his family and members of the state cabinet had undergone the COVID-19 tests to determine their status.
State Health Commissioner, Dr Mijisola Yaya-Kolade followed suit few days later to confirm that the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr Wale Fapohunda and some unnamed members if the state cabinet had also tested positive.
NAN reports that Fayemi, while breaking the latest news on his Twitter handle, on Saturday, had tweeted thus: “After 11 days in isolation, I received news that my COVID 19 repeat test came back negative.
“My sincere gratitude goes to God Almighty, my family, my medical team and all well wishers for the prayers and solidarity.
“We must continue to do all we can to tackle the pandemic”.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Minimum wage: Ekiti workers begin 3-day warning strike Monday
The organised labour in Ekiti state, on Friday, said that there was no going back on its planned commencement of a three-day warning strike from Aug. 3.
The strike, according to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), is to compel the state government to pay the outstanding salaries, allowances and pension arrears of their members.
They, therefore, directed workers across the state to proceed on the warning strike, after which, they said, a full-blown strike would follow, if government failed to accede to their demands.
The directive was made known via a statement jointly signed by the Chairmen of NLC, TUC and JNC, Kolapo Olatunde, Sola Adigun and Kayode Fatomiluyi respectively, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ado Ekiti.
NAN reports that their demands also included unresolved issues surrounding unpaid benefits and non-implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage across board.
Others are non-payment of leave bonus from 2015 till date as well as the arrears of promotions for workers at all levels.
“This warning strike, called by the organised labour in Ekiti, will commence on the midnight of Aug. 3.
“The state government has yet to attend to any of our requests, such as financial promotion for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“There is no commitment to all the outstanding deductions, such as cooperative money, loan repayment to banks, housing fund and others.
“Based on the above, the strike will commence from 12 midnight of Aug. 3, except government attends to our demands.
“We warn that no worker should go to work or listen to any directive from any quarters, except from the leadership of the organised labour,” the statement said.
NAN recalls that Gov. Fayemi, had in the early days of his second tenure, promised the state workers of defraying the arrears owed them by the previous administration, totalling N57 billion within one year of his assumption of office.
Labour, however, claimed that the promise had remained unfulfilled by government, hence the current face-off between the two parties.
Edited By: Chidi Opara and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq