The Ogun Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Toyin Taiwo (4th right) presenting “Award of Cultural Icon” to the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo (3rd left) at the Evening of Culture held in Abeokuta.
The State Governors in the South West states and policy makers at all levels of government have been implored to go a step further to salvage Yoruba culture by adopting of the local fabrics, Adire, as part of the school uniform for government-owned public primary and secondary schools.
The convener, Gbagede Ewaede Foundation, Princess Adejoke Somoye made the appeal during an interview shortly after the Evening of Culture to mark the tenth anniversary of the foundation, held in Abeokuta.
Somoye described the proposed adoption as an initiative that would further give a unique status to the cultural value of the Yorubas, explaining that it was hightime all stakeholders worked assiduously to inculcate the wearing of the local fabrics in public school system.
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She stressed that such was capable of further improving the GDP of the states as it would result into the diversification from a mono-economic system, noting that Yoruba special arts provided another unexplored opportunities of economic diversification.
Commending the Ogun State Government for earlier proposing the idea, Somoye tasked the present administration to set machineries in motion towards commencing the implementation in earnest, adding that the State was being regarded as the gateway of innovative ideas in the comity of States.
“The untiring efforts and consistency of the present administration led by Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR in the areas of cultural promotion, especially adire fabrics are well noticed, assessed and rated high. The foundation respectfully urges the present administration to look inward by commencing its policy statement of adoption adire as uniform for school people.
“This idea, if considered and implemented by the Policy Makers will add to the “many first” being recorded by our dear State that parades array of noble icons who are breaking records in their respective fields of endeavour; even as we remain Gateway to greater ideas that rules our nation”, she submitted.
She stated that government must as a matter of priority provide improved enabling environment to encourage the creation and marketing of locally made adire, with a view to discouraging foreigners (the Chinese) from taking over the creative handiwork which remained the collective identity of the Yoruba indigenes.
In their respective remarks, the representative of the State Governor, Dr. Toyin Taiwo and the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo appreciated the foundation for its unrelenting contribution to cultural revitalization, assuring that the State government would not rest on its oars at promoting cultural policies and programmes.
Highlight of the cultural event was the presentation of “Cultural Icon/ Award of Special recognition” to Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Others who were conferred with the special award included the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs, Hon. Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo, Olu of Itori, Oba Abdulfatai Akamo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Otunba Lekan Lukan and Bashorun of Oba land, Chief Olaoluwadipupo Adegbite.
“Non of those in this special category of award is aware of this presentation, these set of people have been the pillar of support for Ewaede cultural foundation. We have gone this far because you stood by us in thick and thin not minding any differences. All of our initiatives have always gotten your massive support and encouragement, hence we must show our deep sense of appreciation to the whole world on a day like this”, the convener remarked.
The foundation equally bestowed awards of honour in various categories on the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Prince) Olakunle Oluomo, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; (Ọjájá II) represented by HRH Oba Muraina Adedinni, Asoya of Ile-Isoya Ife, multi-national award wining movie producer, Tunde Kelani, the Alake of Egbaland represented by Seriki of Egbaland, Chief Tosin Fadare FCA and Adesina Abiola Paul, amongst others.
Present at the event were the State Commissioners for Housing, Jagunmolu Jamiu Akande Omoniyi FCA, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Toyin Taiwo, Asoju Asa Ile Oodua-Oonirisa, Oloye Morounranti Asabi, Chief Segun Sowunmi, Princess Folashade Odumosu amongst others.