Top Line

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

World largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Sea to sail June 5 ,Written wale Ojo Lanre, Nigerian Tribune .World largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Sea to sail June 5 ,Written wale Ojo Lanre, Nigerian Tri

World largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Sea to sail June 5 ,Written wale Ojo Lanre, Nigerian Tribune .

February 2, 2016

Cruise buyers and sellers are in happy mood all over the world as the most beautiful cruise ship ever built, harmony of the Sea is set to sail between 5 and 7, 2016.

 Mrs Victoria Soluade, Chief Executive Officer, Soltan  Travels and Tours Ltdmedia  who broke  the news to tourism buffs,  cruise buyers and sellers  in her, Eti–Osa  way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos office, revealed that  Harmony of the Sea “is one of the most luxurious cruise ships ever built in contemporary times. It is an adventure in opulence, posh, classy and in all things splendour.”

Mrs Soluade whose company, Soltan Travel and Tours is credited to be the best in cruise tour  package, said that Harmony of the Sea has been completed but only undergoing necessary certification.

She disclosed that the ship would make her pre-inaugural sailing on June 5–7 in Barcelona, Spain and would be attended and witnessed by selected press and dignitaries  all over the world .

 Mrs Soluade disclosed that Harmony of the Sea which  is at present at  the STX France shipyard, Harmony of the Seas (previously known as Oasis 3) will be slightly larger than 5,400-passenger sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, carrying 5,479 passengers.

Measuring 227,700 gross registered tonnes, Harmony of the Seas will be 2,418 GRTs larger than Oasis and Allure, as well as just over two metres longer. It also will be 20 per cent more fuel efficient than its sister ships.

Onboard, Harmony of the Seas will feature a mixture of first-introduced-on-Quantum- and Oasis-class experiences, as well as brand new additions, including the line’s first ever waterslides.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

We cleaned toilets to accommodate tourists in Cuba —Ambassador

We cleaned toilets to accommodate tourists in Cuba —Ambassador

February 3, 2016

Cuba Ambassador to Nigeria,  His Excellency, Carlos E Trejos in company of his wife, Melva Pereze De Trejo and another official of the embassy  Mrs Miriam Morales Palmero, last week, visited the Ooni of Ife, Oba  Eniitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II. They embarked on a tour of the historical town, including the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile ife. In this interview, Ambassador Trejos said he felt more at home in Nigeria and suggested ways through which Nigeria can develop its tourism potentialities for income generation.
What are the significant things you will remember this visit for?
 First of all, the meetings I have with the Ooni and other people in Ile-Ife. My coming here is fruitful for I visited many interesting places which we can now develop   for stronger and better cooperation in the future. The people here are very culturally friendly.  I felt more at home , I enjoy the music, dance and other thrilling  entertainment  and hospitality at the palace and other places we toured.

 Is there any area where Cuba can work with Nigeria?
 There are many areas where Cuba can work with Nigeria and there are many areas where Cuba is working with Nigerians. Nigeria and Cuba are in several mute-lateral projects and collaborations .So we are working with the government.

But getting visa to Cuba for cultural exchange and others is tasking?
No. It is not tasking. We issue a day visa.  Getting Cuba visa is on the spot, when you come to our embassy and you provide the documentation that we need, the next day, you get your visa once you meet with the condition without consulting even for some people, it’s just stamping, we don’t put the visa .

 What’s the formation of people in Cuba?
In Cuba, we don’t have white black or yellow.  We have Cubans. Colour doesn’t exist in Cuba not for sexual orientation not because of religion, women collect the same salary with men, they do the same job and get the same payment. Cuba is a women’s country where respect and consideration go to women. We take care of women than men. Apart from the fact that they receive the same salary, now in Cuba, when a woman delivers  for the first few months, she  receives compensation from the government for complete one year her salaries. There is a law that a man can stay at home catering for the baby while the wife goes to work and he will be paid too.

How has the system of communism helped the advancement of Cuba as a nation?
 We called that Tropical Socialism, it is ours. It is  founded upon the idea of our founding fathers, most of them came from Africa and Nigeria especially and  with the knowledge we have from them,  a black man was  the Major General of the Cuban army fighting colonialism in those days, he died with more than 250 bullet wounds.  A complete family of black people born in Cuba from African descent from Nigeria died in combat, with the rank of Major General.  They won the war.  They are Jose Marcel and Anthony Marcel, our heroes, our founding fathers. They laid the basis upon ideology which goes far beyond any idea of just socialism, first of all, it is humanism. We have the idea of Karl Marx who was the most important thinker in the world in the 19th century, he is even being studies now more than before by capitalists because he developed the law of crisis and development under capitalism so all of these comprise the ideology which we have in Cuba.

What is the position of tourism in Cuba?
 Tourism in Cuba is the second largest industry.

How did you get to that level?
 First of all, Cuba understand that investment has to go through the basic funding and recover later. The first is the scientific research and the second is tourism.The most important investment in the area of tourism is our companies, we build and then we give to foreign companies to administrate, they get 15 per cent of the profit and 85 per cent remains ours.  Last year, they increased to 17.4 and in 2015 the visitors increased from three million to 3.5 million. Cubans now see that we have to invest  more  and that is why  I’ve invited investors from Nigeria to come and invest in Cuba  tourism, when tourists come, they have to get accommodated where it is available, it doesn’t matter if it is Africa or China, they come  and get accommodated. Last year, we had to clean our toilets to accommodate them because we did not have places  where they could be conveniently accommodated.

Countries in Africa are facing a lot of economic crisis, as an experienced diplomat and administrator, can countries like Nigeria develop tourism to generate revenue?
 I will not pretend to teach my ancestors how to do things, my great grandfather came from Nigeria and I cannot come to Nigeria and be telling them to do this and that.  They have wise people  and beautiful  country which will overcome its challenges sooner, I mean in a very near future,  the problem  with their crisis is managing the oil  resources and now the prices are very low, which is not good for the economy. Nigeira’s government has to improve tourism and in doing this, it has to provide energy, improve infrastructure, create infrastructures such as roads, railway lines, airports and others. Though there will consume  a lot of money, but they will help in stabilising and sustaining the economy, you begin step by step. In Cuba for instance,  in old Havana, we have architectural designs from the 15th  to 16th century, they were almost in ruins because of the crisis that hit the country,  but when the government decided to put a little money  to start  restoration, the little amount was one million dollars, it is nothing, but the first  thing was to renovate them and  convert some into hotels that began to yield money  and we began  to repair others until Havana is beautiful now. You spend what you have, we have been working on places that were destroyed  during the war, people still live there and we established   a museum, so that we’ll make people to learn about their own history and know what they have in the past.

How do you go in the area of cultural exchange with Nigeria?
 We are doing that already, we’ve signed a special MOU with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) which put forward the collaboration with the two countries and I am very sure it is going to work out fine.

 Now you are at your great grandfather’s home how do you feel?
 At home, I feel completely at home in Nigeria. Apart from being a diplomat in Nigeria, I understand even more than any other diplomat in Nigeria the mentality, the psychology of Nigerians that I am never affected because I am used to that in my own country, same people, same culture I understand, people know me  I have so many friends here, they know me and my wife very well, we do go to Garki market on our own to buy things,  I feel free, I relate with Nigerians  as brothers and sisters.

How is the practice of African Traditional Religion over there?
  I told the kabiyesi, Ooni about a documentary produced by the Yoruba Association in Cuba about culture and tradition. We have the same Orisa, Obaluaye, Obatala, Yemoja, Osun,  Sango and all the same saints. I have a lot of people who worship them in Yoruba Language, how they learn it, I don’t know.

As Ooni commends Olukere on Olosunta festival

As Ooni commends Olukere on Olosunta festival

February 3, 2016

Oba Obaloran of Ilode, Ile-Ife, Olukere of Ike-Ekiti, Oba Ganiyu Ayodele Obasoyin, Ooni of Ife and Olori Obasoyin at Enuwa Palace, Ile-Ife.
The Ooni of Ife,  Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, has commended the Olukere of Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Oba Ganiyu Ayodele Obasoyin, Komolese 11  for his  agrarian commitment to the promotion of the Olosunta Festival in Ikere Ekiti, the second largest town in Ekiti State .

Ooni Ojaja made this commendation while receiving Oba Obasoyin, who paid him homage in his palace at Enuwa, in Ile–Ife, on Thursday, 28 January, 2016.

The Olukere of Ikere who was accompanied by the Obaloran of Ilode, Ife, the traditional Oba of the source of the Ikere people before migrating to the present site in Ekiti said that it became necessary for him to come, pay homage, visit his royal father and give account of the traditional assignments and activities in ikere Ekiti to the Ooni of Ife, the Imperial head of Obas in Yoruba land “

The Olukere disclosed to Ooni Ojaja that he has not been found wanting at making sure that the celebration of Olosunta festival which signified the soul of Ikere Ekiti as a town is done the way it should be as laid down by the tradition and founder of ikere.

“Kabiyesi, my coming home to ile–Ife, the palace with the Oba of the source where the people of Ikere Ekiti migrated to their present abode, is a testimony that we the Ikere are not only  here to congratulate you, but also assure you of our support, commitment  and readiness to keying to  your  cultural–tourism  promotion of Yoruba land.”

Handedly Olukere Obasoyin, revealed how he has single handed rekindled and reignited the zeal and enthusiasm  of participation in Olosunta Festival in his people and gone many miles to make the celebration of the Festival a global event.

“Kabiyesi, for the past three years, I have raised the bar of Olosunta Festival from the level local l restriction to a global participatory status which attracted thousands of tourists and foreigners to Ikere-Ekiti. And today,  our effort is being blessed by having you as the Ooni who has  a worldwide view and globalised concept of the potentialities in  celebrating and enhancing our n cultural activities and festival in our domains.”

Ooni Ojaja who commended the Olukere pointed out that Olosunta Festival in Ikere Ekiti occupies a conspicuous page in the book of cultural festivals and tourism assets in Yoruba land which would be included in the festival calendar in Yoruba land.

He lauded Oba Obasoyin for his cultural activities so far since he ascended the throne of his forefathers, particularly by   consistently adding value and enhancing Olosunta festival and promised to support him in the effort of realigning the festival with the source and international cultural fora.

OAU don, Prof Akin Alao tasks Yoruba traditional rulers on cultural –tourism @ Oodua Festival Ile - Ife Written by Wale Ojo lanre

OAU don,  Prof Akin Alao tasks  Yoruba traditional rulers on cultural –tourism @ Oodua Festival Ile - Ife 

Written by Wale Ojo lanre 

Nigerian Tribune  , February 3, 2016

•We should turn Ife to tourism haven —Gani Adams •Yoruba cultural tourism revolution has started —Ooni Ojaja !!
Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi. Ojaja 11 and Otunba Gani Adams. INSET: Traditional rulers at the event.
The 2016 Oodua Festival held in Ile–ife, on Thursday January 21, 2016, was not just for celebrating and showcasing the cultural heritage and values of the Yoruba race as being done every year by the Olokun Festival Foundation, but one specially packaged in synchronisation   with the template chord of unity and songs of brotherhood being waxed by the new Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi. Ojaja 11.

And in line with the vision of Ooni Ojaja 11, which sees cultural – tourism as a potent instrument of lubricating the chord of  Yoruba unity , peace and harmony  the Oodua Festival 2016 was laced with programmes which accentuate  the Yoruba culture , traditional rulers and  heritage as the corner stone for economic emancipation and cultural longevity of the race.

Apart from the spectacular cultural performances by many groups, dramatic exhibition of the origin of the race , the Obesere Fuji special show ,  the mammoth crowd  was exposed to intellectual insight of why the Yoruba are who they are and why traditional rulers are the engine of unity and togetherness.

The Oodua Festival also served as the venue of clarion call on the Yoruba race on the need for embarking on cultural–tourism revolution not for entertainment sake, but for economic growth and advancement.

A Professor of  Legal History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, Professor Akinkunmi Alao  kicked  the ball rolling when he  called on traditional rulers in Yoruba land to commence a rigorous resuscitation of  the cultural heritage, traditional  value system and tourism assets in their domains for empowerment, employment, wealth stimulation, peace building and development.

Professor Alao who was the guest lecturer at the Oodua  Festival 2016 organised by Olokun Festival Foundation being promoted by Otunba Gani Adams  on Thursday, 21 January, 2016 at Enuwa, Ile–Ife said that God has propelled nature in depositing both tangible and intangible wonderful cultural tourism assets in Yoruba land only waiting to be  harnessed by the people.

“As the custodian of our cultural heritage, as the protectors and preservers of the value, culture, mores, norms and ethics, the onus of harnessing the values, the culture, the heritage, historical monuments and artefacts  for the benefits of the people and growth of the race falls squarely on you our traditional rulers.”

Professor Alao whose paper “Cultural and Socio Political Imperatives of Yoruba unity: The Pivotal role of Yoruba Monarchs “where he extensively traced the role and exposed the import of the monarchical system of the Yoruba race from the primordial time to the present day stimulated several applauses and public commendation from the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11.

In spite of the external and internal pressures and institutional dynamism, Obaship as an endured and remained eternally relevant and sought after as a necessary machinery of government among the Yoruba . The modernisation and sophistication of government especially in the period since 1960 could not displace the role traditional institution play in the ordering of society, definition of cultural values and in power relations.”

The OAU Don,  who spoke extensively on culture, Monarch and State in Nigeria, colonial manipulations, decolonisation and the chieftaincy institution, party politics and Chieftaincy institution, the military and the Chieftaincy Institution, Obaship in representative democracy, Obaship and the future called on the Yoruba monarchs to “be the champion of their people’s rights and privileges, in the management of relations within the Nigerian state, in resource allocation and in power relations, injury to one in Yoruba land must be considered and taken as injury to all.”

Professor Alao lauded the Ooni of Ife, for establishing and planting a major milestone in fostering unity in Yoruba land by his singular historical visit to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 11 in Oyo on Sunday 17 January 2016. Where “the two potentates and imperial Majesties made speeches that ordinarily signposted the dawn of a new era of love, peace, and unity in Yoruba land.”

Prof Alao charged all products of Yoruba race to “Let us all Yoruba open our hands, to change which is an inevitable companion of culture, but we should not let go of our values as a people and a race. Herein lies our survival and hope for a better tomorrow for ours and generation after.”

The 2016 Oodua Festival was specially organised and packaged being the first of the new Ooni of Ife Oba Ogunwusi who hosted the mammoth crowd and over 50 traditional rulers from Yoruba land and distinguished Nigerians.

Otunba Adams, the major promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, commended Professor Alao for a “thoroughly researched and rich history of the import, importance and essence of our monarchs in cultural stability of the Yoruba race. I am delighted that cultural consciousness  of the race is being re awakened in all the sector of the society and once again thank the erudite scholar for this wonderful, highly illuminating and educative   paper.”

He described the emergence of Ooni Ojaja as a dawn of new era in Yoruba race “We are happy that our God raises nations to be. Our Lord who destroys nations and prospers races has raised for us an Oba who will take Nigeria to the promised land.” Oba Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, Ooni of Ife, has done what is unimaginable by visiting the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, 111, the Iku baba yeye in Oyo . This is a sign of good thing for the race.”

Otunba Adams called on Ooni Ojaja to as a matter of urgency “commence efforts at turning Ile–Ife into tourism haven.”

He pointed out “today our people spend huge sums of money to travel to Israel, Mecca, Rome and other cities across the world to visit heritage sites in those places. Meanwhile we have several sites in Ile-Ife all along dating back to the creation of the world. I beg kabiyesi to ensure sites  like the Oduduwa grove, Opa Oranmiyan, Moremi Ajasoro, Oke Itase, and several others sites are turned into tourists’ delight that will make Ife a global tourist destination.”

The Ooni Ojaja, Oba Ogunwusi who expressed delight at the packaging of the First Oodua Festival in the first year of his tenure commended Olokun Festival Foundation and Otunba Adams for rising to the challenge of preventing the colossal demise and death of Yoruba cultural festivals.

“I have to commend the spirit and giant strides of Otunba Adams in protecting, showcasing and revitalising Yoruba cultural festivals. This I will not only support but go many miles further at sourcing corporate sponsors for him. What Olokun Foundation is doing is for the Yoruba race and we have to see it blossoming. Adams is playing a historical cultural role in the annals of Yoruba race and we should not let him down. We should and will support him.”

The Ooni who spoke in fluent Yoruba enlisted Prof Alao as interpreter in English charged all Yoruba Obas to look inward and take an inventory of the cultural heritage and festivals in their towns for the era of polishing them for economic activity and brotherhood conviviality has come.

“I am happy to have witnessed this year’s O0dua Festival. I am glad at seeing the multitude of crowd, the several obas and traditional rulers, the wonderful cultural display, the members of Oodua Peoples Congress, who are in Ile-Ife in their thousands and the members of the Oodua Progressive Union, who flew in from different countries of the world to witness this festival of our progenitor in Ile-Ife. I am overwhelmed and it shows the beauty in our culture and festivals. I therefore call on Obas in Yoruba land to take an inventory of the cultural festivals in their domains and polish them for the glory of the race and benefits of the people. The Cultural Revolution has started. Aseyi samodun o.”