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    Oyebanji seeks return of stolen Olowe Ajalemo’s artifacts from abroad

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    Ekiti state governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has revealed plans by his administration to work towards the return of stolen artistic works and artifacts of renowned carver, Olowe Ajalemo, popularly known as Olowe of Ise from abroad to the state.

    Oyebanji, who spoke during his visit to the residence of the late carver in Ise-Ekiti, Ise-Orun Local Government Area of Ekiti state on Monday, noted that the carver, who died in 1934 distinguished himself with his artistic dexterity with his magnificent works scattered across major museums in America and European countries.

    The governor, accompanied by Senator Babafemi Ojudu; the Arinjale of Ise, Oba Adetunji Ajayi and other prominent leaders in the visit, promised that the government would build a museum in the house where all his works from abroad would be retrieved and deposited to attract tourists and investors across the world.

    He explained that the artifacts, when returned, would serve as a means of boosting the economic fortune of the state and preserving the cultural heritage for coming generations.

    While soliciting the support of the residents and the community towards the rehabilitation and building of the museum, said his administration was committed to the project in the overall interest of the people and the state.

    Oyebanji said, “Today, as we embark on the rehabilitation of Olowe of Ise, we have the opportunity to not only preserve and celebrate his legacy, but also to bring greater awareness to his work within Nigeria.

    “Olowe’s carvings are a testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic excellence of our nation, and it is only right that we ensure his contributions are properly acknowledged and celebrated.

    “Through this rehabilitation, we can create a space that not only showcases Olowe’s carvings, but also serves as a hub for artistic exchange and appreciation.

    “It is our hope that by doing so, we can inspire a new generation of artists and artisans to draw upon Olowe’s incredible talent and passion for their own creative endeavors.

    “To achieve this end we shall do something about this house where he lived all his life; build a respectable museum here and make efforts to bring back home all his work taken away from here.

    “All those pretty works of this super talented man must return home and adorn the proposed museum so that the world can find its way here to adore them and know that Olowe belongs to Ise, belongs to Ekiti and to Nigeria and Africa.”

    Speaking, Senator Ojudu, who commended Governor Oyebanji for his interest and commitment in the project, revealed that the late carver’s artistic works were generating huge amounts of money for museums in America and European countries.

    He added that the community and the state would benefit from the moves towards returning the works from the foreign countries which would attract investors to Ekiti and grow the local economy.

    According to him, “It is an Ekiti idea, and all of us want to support the government to succeed and change the narratives of the state. How do we do this, is to send out to the world every positive story and ideas about our state.

    “It takes a man of intellect and lover of Ekiti to hear about an idea and run with it and we must thank the governor for what he has done today.

    “This project is going to sell our state, it is going to put our state and Ise-Ekiti on the map of the world because the man we are celebrating was unlettered and he didn’t go to any school but his works are everywhere in the world.

    “We are having a museum here and hopefully we have a bigger one in Ado-Ekiti where all his works will be displayed. It is going to be the beginning of great things in the state.”

    Responding, Oba Ajayi, who also hailed the efforts of Governor Oyebanji and Senator Ojudu for their interest in showcasing the late carver to the world, added that the community would constitute a committee to support the initiative, saying, “ it is going to be a landmark in the history of the community.”

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    Escaped Hyena in Jos, Nigeria Successfully Captured by Local Tourism Board After Drone and Ranger Search

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    Escaped Hyena in Jos, Nigeria Successfully Captured by Local Tourism Board After Drone and Ranger Search

    A hyena that was loose in the central Nigerian city of Jos has been successfully captured, the local tourism board has reported.

    According to Akonitv, drones and rangers searched for the animal after it escaped from the Jos Wildlife Park, causing panic among residents in the area. The hyena had “finally been found, tranquilised, captured and returned to its enclosure”, the tourism board said in a statement.

    It is unclear how the hyena escaped but, according to the tourist board, it had been inside a cage. Many people in Jos were scared, despite assurances from wildlife experts that the chances of the hyena attacking were slim.

    “Hyenas are very fearful of humans – the animal is more likely to run away than attack,” said Abba Gandu, who is based at Kano Zoo in the north of the country, and has worked with lions and hyenas for 50 years.

    “It normally excretes when scared and I foresee that happening when people finally get to it.”
    Wildlife escapes are not new in Nigeria. In 2015, a four-year-old lion was shot dead after it had escaped from the same park.

    At the time, police said the lion was hostile during attempts to return it to its enclosure and was put down before it could harm anyone.

    In nearby Kano state in 2019, a lion also escaped while rangers were trying to return it to a cage after attending a national agricultural show. It was later found after hours of searching.

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    Hyena Escapes From Jos Wildlife Park

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    Hyena Escapes From Jos Wildlife Park

    The management of Plateau State Tourism Corporation has confirmed the escape of a Hyena from the Jos Wildlife Park.

    A statement signed by the General Manager of the Corporation, Mr Chuwang Pwajok reads that” We would like to inform the general public that the Hyena which recently escaped from its cage at the Jos Wildlife Park is currently being tracked by our dedicated team of game guards and Park Rangers with the assistance of drone technology.”

    He assured the public that the corporation are taking all necessary measures to locate the escaped animal and ensure its safe return to its enclosure soonest.”

    “We kindly request the public to remain calm and avoid any approach to the Hyena if sighted,” the statement further reads.

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    FTAN to deliberate on way forward for tourism industry at 27th AGM

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    FTAN to deliberate on way forward for tourism industry at 27th AGM

    The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), has announced plans for its 27th Annual General Meeting scheduled for July 30, 2024, in Abuja.

    While briefing the Travel Press during a zoom meeting, Aliyu Badaki, chairman of the planning committee, disclosed that the AGM is non-elective and holds on the theme, ‘The role of the private sector in the development of tourism in Nigeria’.

    He explained that the theme is timely and in line with the happenings in the sector, the economy and the country at large.

    The chairman also revealed that the meeting would feature a panel session with Philda Nani Kereng, High Commissioner of Botswana to Nigeria, as the lead speaker. He expressed confidence that her wealth of experience in tourism would contribute immensely to the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the area of tourism.

    In the face of the economic reality, Badaki said that the AGM would provide another good platform for the government and the private sector to deliberate on challenges and how to drive tourism in Nigeria.

    Dignitaries expected as the event include: Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism; Hannatu Musa Musawa, Minister of Culture; John Owan Enoh, Minister of Sports; Folorunsho Coker, director general of NTDA; Nura Kangiwa, director general of NIHOTOUR; Ifeanyi Okeke, director general, SON; ECOWAS Commissioner of Tourism; Board of Trustees, FTAN, and other key stakeholders.

    According to him, with the calibre of panelists and high-powered dignitaries expected to grace the occasion, result-oriented deliberations and impactful networking are underway, as the AGM is the first time after a long while the industry is going to witness such key players coming together to chart a new course for the sector.

    Meanwhile, the AGM will serve as a flagship event for NTIFE, FTAN’s event, which comes up in November 2024.

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