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Thousands participate in Walk for Osun

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Thousands of Osun devotees, indigenes, groups, associations and ethnic nationalities at the weekend trooped out in their large numbers to participate in the Walk for Osun, a carnival procession of stakeholders in Osogbo to herald the 2019 Osun Osogbo festival. 

Leading the walk from Better life –  Ahmadiya – Oja Oba junction –  Obate – Sabo junction – Balogun Agoro – Isale Aro – Jolayemi – Isale Osun to the Ataoja palace, the Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola said that the state government would provide adequate security during the celebration of the festival, assuring that the government will continue to continue to support and enhance the quality of Osun Osogbo and bring in more people to participate.

Mr. Oyetola disclosed that record shown that the festival attracts different people from near, far and wide and in the diaspora, noting that the government has brought new tourist product, Karaole Odua which will be used to bring Yorubas in the diaspora to Yorubaland so that they will come home to know their source.

The governor, who was represented by the Supervisor in charge of the Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism Ministry, Dr Obawale Adebisi, said, “our effort is to plan strategically to bring them (Yorubas) home on annual basis between 10-21th of August during the celebration of Osun Osogbo Festival. It will enhance the quality of Osun Osogbo and bring in more people to partake. “

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The governor reiterated that he would drive the state economy with tourism and his administration would continue to take active part in the annual Osun Osogbo festival and other festivals, stating, “what we are doing today is to ensure that we give necessary support to the community and we also get maximum support in return for government programmes and policies.

“The festival every year brings millions of Naira to Nigeria. Though not directly to the purse of the state government but we are planning on capturing more data and register participants so that it can bring in revenue to the purse of the state government,” Governor Oyetola said.

In his address while receiving the participants of the walk at the palace, the Ataoja of Osogboland, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, said that the insinuation that Osun deity had been sold was fallacy, explaining that the Walk for Osun was to create awareness for the people that the Osun Osogbo festival 2019 was around the corner.

According to Oba Oyetunji, “usually, the celebration of Osun Osogbo festival commences by cleaning of the town calledIwopopo whereby citizens of Osogbo and tourists gather to do the task. But this one is a special occasion, special in the sense that it is awareness to the public that the alleged stolen spirit of Osun is fallacy. Osun deity remains there and we started this year’s own with Walk For Osun, where everyone regardless of the ethnic group came to me and we moved round Osogbo to tell people that Osun remains where she is.

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“Osun Osogbo is a very significant festival. There is the involvement of UNESCO, which has made the site a World Heritage one. This places Osun Osogbo on the world map as a tourism destination and the federal, state and local government have shown enthusiasm in promoting Osun Festival. The state government is nearer to me and the celebration of the festival is not done only done by the Ataoja, its custodian, and its people but in collaboration with the Osun State Government and they have been upright,” he added.

Speaking, the Managing Consultant of the firm managing and marketing the festival, Mr. Toye Arulogun commended the Federal and the State governments for their relentless efforts of improving on the security situation in the country, pointing out that the insecurity was not terribly bad as being painted.

Arulogun said that the Walk for Osun was an element of contemporary that was introduced the celebration of the festival in 2019, explaining, “today, thousands of people walked with us to herald the celebration of 2019 Osun Osogbo festival. The walk signifies peace and unity between different ethnic groups. What we are bringing in is an element of contemporary, as we cannot do anything about the tradition.

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NIGERIA: Governors Arrive Abuja For NGF Meeting

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Governors from different parts of the country have arrived at the  Nigeria Governors’ Forum secretariat in Abuja for a meeting.

During the meeting, as reliably gathered,  the governors are expected to discuss the agenda for the next Federal Executive Council meeting and Local Government Funding, among other issues.

In attendance is the chairman of the forum and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, his deputy and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others are Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom; Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano; Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru;  Akwa Ibom Udom Emmanuel; Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa; Adamawa Umaru Fintiri

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Makinde lauds IUFMP initiative , promises to end flooding in Oyo

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state has expressed the readiness of his government to take proactive measures that would help put an end to flooding in the State.

Governor Makinde, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, made the pledge at the closing ceremony of the workshop on Ibadan flood forecast, early warning and implementation support programme held in the state capital, on Wednesday.

The Governor assured that his government would readily support the implementation of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management and other ongoing intervention projects in the state.

Contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Governor, commended the IUFMP on the flood forecast initiative, which he said: “will furnish our people with prior alerts about impending flood disasters”.

He stressed  that it was that a scientific initiative that would alert the people of the possibility of a looming flood disaster was being launched.

Governor Makinde, also described the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (lUFMP) as a people-oriented project set up to change the narrative of incessant and ravaging flood disasters, adding that the project was in consonance with his campaign promises.

The statement added that the Governor had at earlier meetings with the IUFMP team given assurances that Government would take necessary steps to protect the people while charging that the stakeholders on the project to ensure that all hands were on deck to achieve the effective implementation of the initiative.

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“Beyond building bridges, culverts, drain lines, and access roads which are on their own crucial towards ensuring the good life, we as a government also have a duty to give full support to the implementation of the IUFMP initiative that will furnish our people with prior alerts about impending flood disasters.

“This will enable our people to take proactive steps for the preservation of lives and properties. This is a step in the right direction and it will continue to enjoy maximum support of the State Government.

“It is pertinent that we are able to x-ray the factors that can ultimately protect our people from vulnerability to flooding, through adequate knowledge building and information flow on impending flooding and looming dangers. Such information, readily disseminated well ahead of time will save lives.
“I have been told that this workshop, which started yesterday is a two-day programme aimed at sensitising State officials, key stakeholder-agencies and representatives of communities situated along with flood-prone areas, while also informing high-level office-holders about the project,” the Governor said.
Governor Makinde further stated that the State would be expecting value for its investment in the project, which he noted should be in terms of “immediate gains in the area of safety of lives and properties, as well as measurable capacity building for our homegrown technocrats and public servants who would be required to sustain the initiative, post-IUFMP.”

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Governor Makinde, however called on the operators of the project to ensure that the advantages of the project were transferred to other communities in the state through a form of knowledge transfer.

“As I have assured officials of the IUFMP before now, our government will continue to provide enabling environment for the success of other intervention works being carried out at different locations/communities within Ibadan. We expect that all such projects are delivered on schedule to enable our people reap the benefits,” the Governor submitted.

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Terrorists Kill Five Soldiers In Mali

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No fewer than five troops were killed in central Mali on Wednesday when their convoy was ambushed by jihadists, the armed forces confirmed.

The army on its Twitter feed said that the attack occurred on a road between the villages of Boni and Hombori.

“FAMA (the Malian armed forces) suffered five dead. Equipment was also destroyed,” it said.

A local official said gunfire was heard and another said “the jihadists… burned at least two military vehicles. At least two soldiers were also wounded.”

Northern Mali fell into the hands of jihadists in 2012 before the rebels were forced out by a French-led military intervention.

However, much of the region remains chronically unstable and since 2015 violence has spread to the centre of the country.

AFP

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