Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has banned the use of English as a means of communication during any traditional event in the state.
The governor, who gave the directive on Monday in Ado-Ekiti during the First Ekiti State Arts and Culture Stakeholders’ Forum, said it has now become an offence for anyone to communicate in English during traditional events.
Fayemi said his administration was desirous to promote arts and culture in the state through Yoruba and Ekiti dialect, saying this will make the step imperative at this point in time.
Fayemi, who was 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 as part of the ways to boost its economy.
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 cannot solve the endemic unemployment.
“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.
“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 people”.
The Wife of the Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, urged scholars in the field of history and theatre arts, who are indigenes of the state 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 the people that government was 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, popularly known as Fadeyi Oloro.
“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, while we are also going to talk to some creative arts entrepreneurs like Chief Ade Ajayi, owner of Little by Little Photos and other well established artistes of Ekiti origin to mentor our upcoming stars.
“All these Gov. 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.