The governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday banned speaking of English at cultural and traditional functions by state officials and other participants.
Fayemi said his government is desirous to promote arts and culture in the state and reignite communication through Yoruba and Ekiti dialect, saying this makes the step imperative at this point in time.
The governor spoke in Ado Ekiti during the 1st Ekiti State Arts and Culture Stakeholders’ Forum with the theme : ‘ Arts and Culture for Economic Prosperity” held in the state capital.
Fayemi, represented at the event by the Head of Service, Mr. Deji Ajayi, revealed that the state will hold its Festival of Arts and Culture in December, 2019, as part of the ways to boost the economy of the state.
The governor added that there were empirical statistics and evidence to prove that there was need for the state to enhance the skills and capacities of the youths, since government alone can’t solve the issue of endemic unemployment in the system.
“From today henceforth, the government has banned the speaking of English in any cultural programme. Whoever that will participate in any traditional programme must speak Yoruba or our dialect”.
Speaking on the relevance of arts and culture to national development, Fayemi said : “In the primary school teachers’ recruitment exercise we advertised recently, we wanted to employ 1,100 teachers and over 19,000 had applied on our website. This shows that government must develop the skills and capacities of our youths to be able to be on their own.
“We are going to organise Ekiti State Festival of Arts and Culture in December this year to enhance our capacities in crafts, dancing , weaving and other vocational areas of arts.
” We should not forget to teach our children those values that will make Ekiti to remember their heritage and sustain our culture as a people”.
Fayemi said the government will build a new traditional rulers’ Secretariat for Obas in the state to make them more active and functional .
The first lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi , charged scholars in the field of history and Theatre Arts, like Professors Isola Olomola and Ojo Rasaq Bakare to document Ekiti heritage to preserve it for future references.
The Director General of the Ekiti State Arts and Culture, Mr. Wale Ojo Lanre, assured that the government is committed to the promotion of all cultural festivals in the state to enhance productivity and for economic gains.
Ojo-Lanre also called for support for the ailing Ekiti born theatre artist, Chief Ojo Arowosafe popular known as Fadeyi Oloro and other being afflicted by certain sicknesses for the sake of posterity.
“The governor has directed us to relocate Chief Arowosafe to Ekiti for him to get better medical treatment and for reunion with his family.
” We are also going to partner Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) And National Council for Arts and Culture and other national and international bodies to promote our arts and culture in Ekiti. Some of them will be enlisted as national festivals .
“We are also going to talk to some creative arts entrepreneurs like Chief Ade Ojo, owner of little by little photos and other well established artistes of Ekiti origin to mentor our upcoming stars .
” All these Governor Kayode Fayemi is ready to do to promote our arts and culture industry and make it a force that can generate revenues for individuals and the state”, he said.
Guest speaker including Professor Ishola Olomola, Professor Rasaki Bakare, and Dr Mike Adeoye in their presentation harps on the need for consistency and working with passion
Bakare also called for collaborative efforts among various association of professionals to pursue a common goal and economic benefit ” You must be humbled to work with those who are not as high as you re and be humble to work with those who are higher than you so as to create a market and formidable structure that would enhance empowerment and economic development