Senior Special Assistant to Ekiti State governor on Tourism Development, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre, demonstrated the value of Yoruba tradition of respect and honour when he prostrated before the Dein of Agbor, His Imperial Majesty, Dr. Benjamin Okechukwu, yesterday in Asaba, at the presentation of tourism textbooks for Senior Secondary School 1 – 3.
The presentation of the book, which took place at the Main Hall of the Orchid Hotel, Asaba, had in attendance the Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by his Commissioner for Basic nad Secondary Education, Dr. Mrs Rose Esewu; immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was also represented.
Guests at the book presentation were stunned by the mannerism and behaviour of Ojo-Lanre, a former Director-General, Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, former two-term chairman, Oyo State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, and Country Team Leader and Chief Coordinator, Federation of World Culture and Arts Society, Singapore, FOWCAAS, in Nigeria, who was the reviewer of the books, when called to the podium first proceeded to pay royal obeisance to Dr. Ikechukwu, before reviewing the books.
The SSS textbooks on Tourism was written and published by the chairman, Board of Directors, Delta State Tourism Board, Fidelia Salami, Chairman, Board of Directors, Delta State Tourism Board.
The Dein of Agbor, one of the most brilliant and outstanding monarchs occupying one of the most ancient kingdoms in Nigeria was the Royal Father of the day, while Uduaghan was the chairman at the book presentation.
The event, which was the first of its kind, as no book on tourism for secondary schools had ever been written, to address the dearth of textbooks on tourism for secondary school students in Nigeria, attracted distinguished and eminent Nigerians from all walks of life, academic institutions, tourism, private sector practitioners, diplomats and secondary school students.
Delta governor, Okowa applauded Salami, who he described as a round peg in a round hole, for bringing out tourism knowledge expansion products from Delta State, just as the Minister of Information and Culture praised the author for supplying the necessary materials needed for the mobilization of the minds of the youths for tourism development.
Dr Uduaghan, in his keynote address commended Mrs Salami for her agrarian effort at planting tourism awareness in the cognitive consciousness arena of the students.
The former governor lamented the lack of copious creation of awareness about the import of tourism, which has hindered the growth and blossoming of tourism in Nigeria.
The author, Mrs Salami, who had previously authored ‘Tourism in Nigeria: The Incredible Journey into the Heart of Nature, worked diligently to published three different books with the aim of seeing “students successfully pass through the Senior Secondary education and acquire the trade skill in tourism, to open the vastness of our tourism attraction to the rest of the world and to establish the dynamics of how Nigeria can grow its tourism potentialities.”
In her welcome address, the author encouraged and tasked the students and guests on the import of art, culture and tourism.
The event, compered by the President, Media Extraordinary, Rahmat C Ibrahim, also witnessed the call for a minute’s silence in honour of the late former Minister of Information, Prince Tony Momoh, who wrote the foreword to the three tourism education books and whose son, Abdulrasheed Momoh, was present to do the reading of the books.
The memorable aspect of the event, however, was the paying of obeisance to the Dein of Agbor by Ojo-Lanre, who went flat in prostration to greet the paramount ruler of Agbor kingdom, Dr. Ikechukwu, to the amazement of the guests at the occasion.
This act of respect and cultural value drew heavy rounds of applause and commendation from guests in the hall, who marvelled at his sense of cultural obeisance and respect for values and traditional ethics.
Visibly impressed Ojo-Lanre’s show of resepect for the traditional institution, the Dein of Agbor, in his speech, commended the SSA to Governor Kayode Fayemi for excellently reviewing the books and his robust sense for cultural values and ethics.
The monarch urged Nigerians to rise and embrace tourism and save our culture from going into extinction.
Warning Nigerians not risk the curse of generations unborn by neglecting “our cultural values which give us a unique identity, while embracing foreign values which make a mess of us,” the Dein called on Nigerian women to be more involved in the tourism sector, adding that the women are best suited to manage the hospitality sector.
Dein of Agbor prayed for Nigeria and called on the Federal Government to rise and combat the security and inflationary challenges facing the nation.