EKSG To Partner Sweden Group On “Ayo Olopon” For Cultural Interchange, Tourism Development

……as group receives certificate of annual registration

Ekiti State is set to partner with a Sweden based group Ayo Olopon which will  soon hold it’s National event in the state.

The ‘Ayo Olopon’ group registered in Sweden and recently registered to partner with Ekiti State Government for cultural interchange and tourism development.

The letter of intent previously written and submitted to the Bureau of Tourism yielded positive result when on Wednesday 19th 2024 the group received the certificate of operations from the Director General of the Bureau of Tourism Development in Ekiti state Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre.

The President and founder of the group in Sweden Mr. Jide Aloba aka Jide Boss an Ikere Ekiti indigene but based in Sweden had approached Ekiti State Government on a possible collaboration with the government of Sweden which is aimed at exporting Ekiti Cultural values, Heritage and Traditions to the outside world.

In a letter of intent presented to the Director General of the Bureau of Tourism in Ekiti State, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre in his office on the 6th of June 2024 through it’s representative Mr. Gbenga Sodeinde in Nigeria, the group outlined it’s objectives which is aimed at promoting traditional sports and culture of Ekiti people.

The Director General of the Board of Tourism Development in Ekiti State Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre after due consideration approved the group’s letter of intent and registration and stamped the licensed Certificate of Operations in his office on 19th June 2024.

Presenting the certificate on behalf of the board, the Director General described the intention of the group as one that will greatly benefit the people of the state just as he described “Ayo Olopon” as more than a game that requires patience, wisdom, calculations and intellectual art of outsmarting opponents.

In his words, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre said the state Government is open to innovative ideas that will put Ekiti on the world map and Ayo Olopon as a cultural game is a conduit pipe to which Ekiti State can be projected to the world.

Commending the initiative the D.G said: One of our mandate is to develop all our Ekiti traditional games into a Tourism function. The essence is to bring in investors through Tourism and Ayo Olopon is a sport cum cultural thing and we are ready to do everything to make it a huge success. We will give it the maximum support and we want to appreciate you for bringing this idea to us”

In his own words, the Personal Assistant to the President of the group Ambassador Oladele Ayotunde earlier outlined the importance of ‘Ayo Olopon ‘ which he said has existed long before Chess was even introduced to Africa.
He maintained that the idea of Ayo Olopon as a game for the Elderly is a misconception and that the game itself is a link between people of different backgrounds.

” We know the importance of Ayo Olopon and that is why we are here to modify it. Ayo Olopon is a game that encourages peaceful coexistence, information dissemination and a form of brain developing method and these attributes cannot be said to be for Elders alone” he concluded.

Receiving the Certificate on behalf of the group, Mr. Gbenga Sodeinde appreciated the state Government, the Director general of the Bureau of Tourism for developing Ekiti through Tourism and Traditional sport. He promised to intimate the President Mr. Jide Aloba of the state Government readiness to partner the group on its planned National event which will come later in the year.

Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre also presented the Licensed Certificate to the group Representatives Mr. Gbenga Sodeinde and Ambassador Oladele Ayotunde the Personal Assistant to the President Mr. Jide Aloba.
In his speech Ambassador Ayotunde thanked the Ekiti State Government and the Tourism Board for it’s interest in developing Ekiti through Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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