By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA Nigeria) has gotten a new Patron in person of His Royal Majesty, the Dein of Agborland, in Delta State, Dr. Benjamin Ikenchuku who is a renowned supporter of women’s advancement.
President of WISTA Nigeria Eunice Ezeoke disclosed this at the launching and public presentation of Senior Secondary School 1,2 and 3 Tourism, a book published and authored by Hon Fidelia Salami.
Mrs Ezeoke was represented at the event by the Association’s Secretary, Mrs. Chizoba Anyika.
The grand event which held at Orchid Hotels, Asaba also attracted the creme-de-la-creme of the society including the Governor of Delta State, Gov Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr (Mrs) Rose Ezewu.
Also present was the immediate past Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, as well as the Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed.
Others are; Mr Abdulraheed Momoh, son of the late Prince Tony Momoh, former Minister of information and Culture who wrote the forewords to the books, as well as other eminent personalities from all walks of life.
Father of the Day was His Royal Majesty, Dein of Agbor, Dr Benjamin Ikenchuku.
In a press statement issued by WISTA Secretary, Mrs Chizoba Anyika on Friday, the association disclosed that HRM Benjamin Ikenchuku, Keagborekuzi 1, Dein of Agbor is a remarkable Agbor monach ordained at 28 months, he set a global record as the youngest monarch in the entire universe at his installation in 1979.
“This historic event (recorded in the 1981 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records) set in the wake of the untimely death of his father, the then reigning Agbor monarch, James Obika Ikenchuku”
“The new patron was presented with a token from WISTA Nigeria as a welcome reception to our dynamic Association. His Royal Majesty has a trail-blazing life of an unusual king of great repute and has promised to throw all his support in enhancing the great work of women of WISTA.”
Anyika also announced that WISTA Nigeria now has a branch in Delta State, as a couple of high flying women were presented with membership forms, interviewed as they gladly joined the prestigious women’s group.
Speaking at the grand event, Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa commended, Hon Fidelia M. Salami, Chairman Delta State Tourism Board for her brilliant exercise at expanding the reservoir of knowledge at frontiers of tourism education in Nigeria
Gov Okowa who was represented by his Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr (Mrs) Rose Ezewu pointed out that the books were a perfect answer to the prayers of the tourism sector which has been in the dearth of textbooks and research materials particularly in the secondary level of educational strata.
Gov Okowa said he was particularly happy that the publisher and author of the books, Hon Fidelia Salami is from Delta State and more also the Chairman of Delta State Tourism Board who knows where the nail pinches the tourism sector.
He disclosed that Delta State, being the state where the books originated and where the author is serving her father’s land, would not only ensure the accessibility of books to students in the Senior Secondary School 1,2 and 3 but its availability in all the libraries in the state.
Governor Okowa applauded Fidelia Salami for adding value to knowledge and for sowing inter-generational documents which teach students what they should know in tourism, what they should do in tourism and how they can explore tourism as a means of survival.
Hon. Salami is the Chairman of Delta State Tourism Board and an accomplished writer.
Speaking, she said “I have this potent desire to see students successfully pass through the Senior Secondary School Education and acquire the trade skills in tourism and also open our tourist attraction to the rest of the world.
“I also seek to establish the dynamism of how Nigeria can grow in tourism.”
In his keynote address, the Chairman of the event, former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan described the efforts of Fidelia Salami at writing three- books that addressed the foundation and fundamental pillars of tourism education in Nigeria as not only commendable but an effort that should be appreciated by all Nigerians who understand the import of tourism and its capacity as potent revenue generation.
The immediate past Governor of Delta state revealed that his passion for tourism and regard for the books being launched that day lure his presence to Asaba which made it the first public function he was attending in Asaba since he left government.
His Excellency, Dr Uduaghan said he knew the import of tourism that was why he organised a programme “Delta State after oil” which he said many people then could not comprehend and thus cultivated to him many uninformed criticisms.
He said the books which Fidelia gave birth to will go a long way at raising the consciousness of tourism in the minds of the Senior Secondary School Students who are the youths of the day and leaders of tomorrow.
Dr Uduaghan appealed to the Governor and government of Delta State to make the books a must-read by the students in the state.
While congratulating the author of the books on tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, speaking through a representative said that the books are not published for the benefit of the students only but also aimed at providing skills and sensitization for education officers and teachers of what tourism is all about, as well as how and what it contributes to lives, livelihoods, individuals, and the country as a whole
Giving the royal perspective, Dein of Agbor, Dr Benjamin Ikenchuku, who was present throughout the event blessed Hon Fidelia Salami for enriching the intellectual fortress of tourism education with quality materials.
The Dein of Agbor said that Fidelia Salami by her act of publishing three books for SSS 1,2- 3 is stoking the embers of national rebirth in cultural – tourism.
He called on education planners and administrators in Nigeria to adopt the book and recommend it to the nation.
The reviewer of the book, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Ekiti State on Tourism Development who is also the Country’s Team Leader and Chief Coordinator of Federation of World Culture and Arts Society Singapore, FOWCAASS, said that the three books were the perfect answers to the dearth of textbooks in the tourism education sector in Nigeria which every tourism buff must not only read but acquire and possess for this generation and generations yet unborn.