By Dayo Johnson
GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has promised to put the state in the limelight and make it one of the best tourism destinations in the country and beyond.
Akeredolu said this while playing host to the CEO of Oshodi Arts Gallery, Mr Sheyi Oshodi, who is an organising partner of the proposed Ondo State Art Festival in his office in Akure.
Speaking through his deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, the governor said the government is committed and ready to give the project every necessary support to give the state prominence.
“This initiative is to bring back the lost glory of our heritage. These values are not newly invented, but we have virtually forgotten all of them and this is not good for our culture, the state and for record purposes.
“I’m happy this is coming at a time Ondo State has just established an Archive Centre. I am sure the synergy will bring back our culture and we will have our historical values to show our children yet unborn.”
The governor said by the time the festival becomes a reality, “we should be able to have a big event that would advance and surpass that of Calabar festival which would bring the whole world to the state as well as turn the economy around.
Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Ismaila Olurimisi, said: “The Art festival will be like a seven-day long event which would feature different programmes such as mountain climbing, a programme at the riverrine area, marathon race, among others. Earlier, the CEO, Oshodi Art Gallery, Sheyi Oshodi said the project is an avenue to bring back the heritage of the state which he claimed is one sure way of boosting the state’s economy.
Oshodi noted that the initiative is also to advocate for the re-introduction of art which comprises music, dancing, drama, sculptural designs and painting among others, into the secondary school syllabus and empower no fewer than 5,000 youths in terms of technical and vocational skills acquisition.