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    Document, court judgment show new Alaafin selected by Oyo kingmakers

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    The Oyo Mesi, a group of kingmakers, selected a new Alaafin of Oyo last year to replace the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who passed away in April 2022, according to documents obtained byFreelanews.

    Nearly 18 months since the throne became vacant, there has not been an official announcement of a new monarch by the Oyo State Government, with many blaming the kingmakers for delaying the selection process.

    However, a proclamation document and a court judgment seen by this newspaper have now shown that the Oyo Mesi selected Lukman Gbadegesin and forwarded the name of the prince from the Agunloye Ruling House to the government since last year.

    “We hereby proclaim Prince Lukman Adelodun Gbadegesin the new Alaafin,” the proclamation reads, signed by the five living Oyo Mesi members and two warrant chiefs selected by the government to replace deceased Oyo Mesi members.

    The kingmakers said they received a list of 82 aspiring princes from the Baba Iyaji of Oyo, the head of all princes, Mukaila Afonja. By Oyo tradition and the Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration, Baba Iyaji is empowered to collect the names of aspiring princes from the next ruling house and transmit them to the Bashorun, the head of Oyo Mesi.

    The Bashorun would then convene a meeting of the kingmakers to take a vote and the prince with simple majority is to be proclaimed Alaafin.

    As the proclamation shows, all the kingmakers signed for Mr Gbadegesin, whose grandfather, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, was the predecessor of the immediate past Alaafin Adeyemi III.

    The proclamation was signed on September 30, 2022. According to the law, an aspirant or the ruling house has 21 days to petition the government to challenge the selection. But no such petition was written.

    However, after the expiration of the 21-day window, a prince, Hakeem Ladigbolu, approached the court to set aside the selection process. But in a judgment given on December 19, 2023, an Oyo State High Court in Oyo Town, upheld the process leading to the selection of Mr Gbadegesin, court papers show.

    However, despite the proclamation by the Oyo Mesi and the court judgment upholding the process, the government has yet to make a formal announcement, giving rise to concern that political interests might want to undermine the Oyo Mesi and foist another person on the ancient Yoruba town.

    When contacted, the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, confirmed the process has been concluded.

    He, however, refused to disclose the name of the prince selected. Instead, he said, “we have submitted everything to the government, direct all other questions to the government, but we have completed the process.”

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    Governor AbdulRazaq reiterates support for tourism, cultural festivals

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    Governor AbdulRazaq reiterates support for tourism, cultural festivals

    The Kwara State Governor, North Central Nigeria, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has pledged the commitment of the state government in the development of the tourism sector through the promotion of sociocultural festivals and monuments in the state.

    He specifically expressed his resolve to partner and support various cultural associations in the state including Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU) to drive and sustain growth in the various sectors.

    The Governor made the pledge when he received the Chairman, Ilorin Emirate Durbar Committee, Engineer Suleiman Yahaya Alapansanpa at the Government House, Ilorin.

    Governor AbdulRazaq said the government will continue to partner with various cultural associations in the state, including the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU), to drive sustainable growth in the sector.

    He added that his administration would increase its support for the 2024 Durbar Festival and other major cultural events in the state.

    The Chairman, Ilorin Emirate Durbar Committee, Engineer Alapasanpa while speaking during the visit, reiterated the kind of support the Emirate enjoyed from the governor and the state government in the previous editions of the festival which culminated in the high level of success recorded in the last celebration.

    The Ilorin Durbar event will hold on Tuesday, the third day of Ileya festival at the Emir’s palace.

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    National Theatre GM Seeks More Investment In Cultural Tourism

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    National Theatre GM Seeks More Investment In Cultural Tourism

    The General Manager, National Arts Theatre, Tola Akerele, has called for more investment in cultural tourism, creative industries, and multicultural education to further leverage Nigeria’s diversity.

    Akerele made the call on Tuesday in Lagos at a World Cultural Day celebration organised by the National Theatre in collaboration with the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP).

    The theme of the programme is “Harnessing Cultural Diversity to foster Unity and drive Economic Growth in Nigeria”.

    “Cultural diversity is not a liability; it’s an asset waiting to be adequately harnessed.

    “By embracing our diversity, we position Nigeria as a global leader – a hub of creativity and ingenuity.”

    She highlighted the creative industry’s significant contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, citing the sector’s impressive figures from 2023.

    “The creative industry, particularly motion picture and music recording, accounted for roughly N154 billion (approximately 197.6 million U.S. dollars) of Nigeria’s GDP in 2023.

    “This figure demonstrates the sector’s vital role in Nigeria’s overall economic landscape,” she said.

    According to Akerele, Nigeria’s cultural wealth is a testament to the resilience, creativity, and ingenuity of its people.

    “We must recognise and celebrate our differences, rather than allowing them to divide us,” she said.

    She emphasised the importance of promoting intercultural dialogue, celebrating Nigeria’s cultural heritage, and exploring ways to harness diversity for economic growth.

    Renowned Playwright and Theatre Director, Ben Tomoloju, highlighted the importance of multiculturalism in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria.

    The playwright defined multiculturalism as “the state of a society or the world in which there exists numerous distinct ethnic and cultural groups seen to be politically relevant.”

    Tomoloju urged stakeholders in the cultural industry to explore the potential of Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage and optimise its commercial benefits.

    “I encourage the community of culture producers to take stock of extant manifestations of the Nigerian cultural industry and assess their potential use-value.”

    According to him, the democratisation of culture is essential for widening the space for participation of the people in organised cultural life.

    Tomoloju emphasised Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, with over 370 ethnic groups, each with its own language and cultural peculiarities.

    He acknowledged organisers of the event for their efforts in promoting Nigerian culture.

    He also recognised the National Theatre as a legacy of Nigeria’s most ambitious and globally celebrated cultural event-FESTAC 77.

    Akonitv reports that the event featured a vibrant celebration of Nigerian culture, with performances, exhibitions, and discussions showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage.

    Guests included dignitaries, cultural icons, and stakeholders from the creative industry.

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    Lagos gears up for Yoruba Week celebration

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    Lagos gears up for Yoruba Week celebration

    The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art, and Culture is concluding plans to unveil the grand Yoruba Week celebration, slated for September 2024.

    A statement on Tuesday noted that the event will showcase the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people through traditional music, dance, art exhibitions, and delectable culinary delights.

    “With Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu now the esteemed Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, this year’s Yoruba Week is destined to be a majestic celebration of unity and culture,” the statement said.

    “The Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Idris Aregbe, will embark on a series of courtesy visits to various stakeholders, Yoruba leaders, grassroots communities, and the younger generation, aiming to foster widespread participation and engagement in this cultural festivity. This will be the biggest cultural event in the Yoruba calendar in years to come,” it added.

    The programme is with the theme, “Embracing the Yoruba Heritage, Unity, and Pride by Preserving Our Past and Inspiring Our Future.”

    In late April, the state government announced plans to dedicate the last week of September every year as “Yoruba Week” to celebrate the Yoruba culture.

    According to a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Eromosele Ebhomele, the move is to preserve and promote the rich Yoruba cultural heritage.

    The decision was conveyed to the Lagos State House of Assembly through a letter from the executive arm, following a resolution passed by the lawmakers on September 19, 2023, calling for the activation of Yoruba cultural heritage and the assignment of a special day as Yoruba Day.

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