* We want to develop change makers, visionaries of high impact – Aribisogan
The Africanvoice International Training and Development Academy (AITDA) along Ado-Afao Road, Ado Ekiti was the place to be on Thursday, July 13 as eminent personalities and royalty gathered for the inauguration of the institution.
The institution was founded by versatile journalist, politician and former Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, to equip youths and other professionals with practical and vocational skills to advance in their professions and stimulate economic and political development.
Veteran radio and television presenter, Akinlade Ojo, popularly known as Erugale, Oba Yoruba Egbe, held the audience spellbound as he, in Ekiti dialect, delivered the panegyrics of the traditional rulers in attendance and represented amid loud ovations.
He also rendered the praises of some of the eminent guests that he singled out on the occasion just as he made rib-tickling jokes to the delight of the audience which roared with laughter.
Royal fathers in attendance or represented at the event included the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi; the Obanla of Ijesa Isu, Oba Gabriel Adeniyi; and the Olukere of Odo Oja Ikere Ekiti, Oba Ganiyu Obasoyin.
Dignitaries included former Acting Governor, Tope Ademiluyi; National Population Commission’s federal commissioner, Ayodeji Ajayi; Dr Tope Aluko; the Minority Leader, Ogun State House of Assembly, Sheriff Yusuf; Biodun Akin-Fasae; High Chief Olubunmi Ajibade; and All Progressives Congress Publicity Secretary, Ekiti State, Segun Dipe.
Others represented included the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adeoye Arobasoye; his Ogun State counterpart, Olakunle Oluomo; and National Assembly member, Senator Cyril Fasuyi; among others.
Former member, Ekiti State House of Assembly and the Planning Committee Chairman, Yemisi Ayokunle, welcomed guests to the opening of AITDA, which she described as the first privately owned journalism, entrepreneurship and vocational training institution in Ekiti.
Ayokunle said that the importance of technical and vocational education and its role as a veritable means of addressing youth unemployment and economic empowerment of young citizens could not be over emphasized.
She said that the academy was borne out of Hon. Aribisogan’s conviction that “education is one of the few interventions that can easily transform the lives of our youths and by extension, transform the larger society”.
Aribisogan, while giving insight into the academy, said, “It is starting with three colleges viz: Aficanvoice International School of Journalism and Communication, College of Information Technology; and College of Entrepreneurship and Vocational Education”.
He said, “AITDA is committed to equipping our youths with knowledge and skills for employment, career success and future leadership roles in society.
“We want to develop change makers and visionaries of high impact. We will also offer capacity building and training programmes across diverse areas for skilled professionals and executives who wish to improve their capacities or update their knowledge in their chosen professions,” he said.
In his comments, the NPC commissioner, Ajayi, said that Aribisogan had passions for journalism, to be a trainer and to establish a radio station in his Ijesa Isu hometown.
Ajayi said, “He has achieved his passion in journalism, he has achieved the second passion to be a trainer to share his experience with others. He should be encouraged to achieve the third passion.
“This academy is a fountain of knowledge and thousands of youths will drink from it and become great men in life,” the NPC boss said.
The APC spokesperson, Dipe, said, “I am happy with this achievement and our party is happy with this as well. Since we were journalists on the field in Lagos, I knew Aribisogan had always been interested in investing in journalism”.
Dipe added that the academy was a fertile ground for the take-off of radio station.
The senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Fasuyi, represented by Chief Niyi Ojo, who said the academy was established for training in journalism, ICT and entrepreneurship including agriculture, expressed interest in reaching out to his constituents through the entrepreneurship development aspect.
The senator, promised to pay all expenses of constituents who attended the academy and as well sponsor such persons for further studies in the Republic of Benin so that they could become established and employers of labour.
Cyril Fasuyi expressed interest in serving as a lecturer in AITDA so that he could mentor the younger ones.