The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde has reassured his commitment to sustainable development through tourism as one of the pillars to expand the economy of Oyo state.
Seyi Makinde stated this on Saturday while speaking at the annual World Twins Festival organised by the Igbo-Ora Community in collaboration with the Twins World Creations and the Oyo State government and held in Igboora.
Makinde added that his administration is committed to integrating all the zones in Oyo state by constructing and rehabilitating road networks linking all the zones.
He, therefore, promised that his administration would award, construct, and deliver a solid link between Igbo-Ora to Iseyin and, by extension, link Ibarapa land to the centre of activities in Oyo state.
“We have decided to include tourism in our road map for sustainable development. Tourism is now one of the pillars to expand our economy.
“When we expand our economy through Tourism, the economy of Ibarapa Central will also improve”.
The governor further said: “From last year up to this point, we have been making progress (in tourism) and I think we must make further progress. So, I want to sit down with Taiwo and Kehinde OGUNTOYE, the initiators of this event to re-assess the vision and to see what to do next as Twins Tourism is a way to go”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, said the participation of the state government in Igbo-Ora World Twins Festival is a fulfillment of Governor Makinde’s electioneering promise to recognise the uniqueness of each community and to promote the tourism potential.
He added that the festival has promoted tourism in the state, adding that from 2024, the festival will be extended to all the five geo-political zones in the state with the grand finale taking place in Igboora.
The traditional ruler of town, The Olu of Igbo-Ora land, HRM Oba Jimoh Olajide Titiloye Igbo-Ora, lauded Gov. Makinde for promoting the festival as a means of tourism and expansion of the state’s economy.
Oba Titiloye also noted that even though the southwest has the highest multiple birth rate, Igbo-Ora in the southwest has a higher multiple birth rate, which makes it a significant destination for twin festival celebrations.
This year’s festival was tagged “Twinning for Community Development”, an initiative driven by Amb Taiwo and Kehinde Oguntoye, popularly known as “the most famous twins in African tourism”.
According to the Ibadan born Oguntoye Twins, the World Twins Festival is significant for the Igbo-Ora community and Oyo state because it attracts tourists, which puts the community, the state and the country on the global map as a place with a significant number of multiple births.
Some sets of twins at the festival expressed their joy of joining their kinds to celebrate. Adeleke Twin sisters , who attended from Oke Ogun zone of the state said this is their second time at the festival and according to them, it was fun, fun and fun for them.
Collaborating this, are the Adebowale Twin sisters who said they traveled down from Lagos to be part of this year festival. According to them, ” the hospitality is top notch, we made new friends and reunited with old ones, we can see the future in this kind of special tourism package “.
The Gbolarunmi Twins made some energetic acrobatic performance to the excitement of the dignitaries during the Twins Talent Show while the Ojo-Awo Twins eulogies the twins appellation to the admiration of all.
The festival is aimed at showcasing the multifunctional promotion of the international twinning cultural heritage of Igbo-Ora which has the highest concentration of living multiple births in the world.
Highlights of the event included twins’ parade, twins’ talent show and twins’ appellation, among others.