In celebration of the 2020 World Tourism Day, the Lagos chapter of Women in Business and Tourism (WIBAT), has taken a deserved tour of the ancient city of Epe in Lagos State, drawing out the hitherto uncharted tourism potential therein.
Leveraging on this year’s theme, “Tourism and Rural Development” the group, led by the CEO, Connoisseur Travel and Tours, Mrs Joana Owolabi, dared to bring Epe town to limelight in global tourism, giving it a head up as first choice in domestic tourism.
The trip, which spanned four days, was full of adventure, fun and education, and took the group to and through the innermost parts of the endowed town.
Among places visited included the beautiful Palace of the Paramount ruler of the town, the Oloja of Epe, HRM, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun.
The Oloja was full of praises and prayers for women, who happened to be the first women group to tour the ancient city in history. He commended the women for choosing his domain as a tourism potential to promote, especially to mark a special occasion.
”I’m very pleased to have you in our midst, especially on this special day. Let me assure you of our willingness to partner with you on future initiatives,” the Oba was quoted as saying.
The women appreciated the Oba’s reception with a surprised gift.
The team’s next port of call was the office of the Executive Chairman of Epe Local Government, Hon. Adedoyin Adesanya, whose enthusiasm at the honour knew no bounds. He thanked the women for choosing to position Epe as a tourism destination in Lagos State.
While admitting that tourism is very close to the heart to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, especially efforts to open up suburbs like Epe, he extolled the virtues of WIBAT for taking up the challenge.
The Supervisor, Envinroment and Tourism in the local government, Princess Surah Animashaun, who masterminded the adventure, also expressed her profound gratitude to the women for agreeing to explore Epe to commemorate the 2020 edition of World Tourism Day.
The team also visited many cultural, historical and educational destinations such as the popular Epe fish market where they were well received by the market women leader-Iyaloja of Oluwo Fish Market, Folashade Ojikutu, who took them on a tour of the market.
The highpoint of the tour was the visit to the town’s ancient tree, which stood majestically by the road, and decked around with a cloth, symbolising its cultural and communal importance. At the site, residents, who were happy to see tourists in their town, expressed their joy at the visit.
One of them even joked at the tourists, saying “I hope you people will not allow them to be carrying out traditional monuments and totems abroad.”
Other prominent citizens of Epe, who were on ground to receive the women group are Chairman, Active Hunters Association, Epe Division, Mr. Adeleke Adesada; legislative members representing the town in the Lagos State House of Assembly and Senate, Hon Abiodun Tobun and Senator Segun Agbaje respectively, among many other dignitaries.
The first ever women tourism adventure as recorded, has been adjudged a huge success, devoid of rancour and well conducted by a professional guide.
In her vote of thanks, Princess Animashaun expressed gratitude to the women for the bringing global attention to Epe town.
The gains of the trip is expected to resonate in the coming days, surely, however, a sour point of a trip Epe remains the dilapidated nature of the roads. This, the group said can hinder tourism exploration in the vibrant area.
Drivers Along Badagry Expressway Protest Touts, Security Agencies Extortion, Passengers Stranded
Drivers of Lagos yellow commercial buses, popularly known as danfo plying the Mile 2/Badagry expressway on Friday protested against extortion by touts and security operatives.
The majority of the drivers participating in the protest are currently occupying Ketu bus stop, along the road.
SaharaReporters gathered that the development has left many passengers around the area stranded.
According to the drivers, they have no more money to pay the louts, who take over N1, 000 from them for each vehicle daily.
The protesters added that there are too many security checkpoints on the expressway, and that they are being extorted excessively.
They also complained about harassment and extortion by police, Vehicle Inspection Officers and Federal Road Safety Corps officials which they said had worsened recently.
Some of the areas affected are Agbara to Iyana-Era, Igbo-Elerin, Okokomaiko, and Iyana Iba.
SaharaReporters learnt that some commuters were left with the option of commercial motorcycles, who charged N3, 000 from Iyana-Era to Mile 2.
“A lot of commuters plying the road are presently stranded and may remain so but the drivers are determined to keep up the strike until the extortion of drivers on the road is stopped by the government.
“The only major reservation expressed by some is that the police may be deployed to unleash terror on the drivers anytime soon.
“They say while some may be arrested, they are conscious that many of them may be killed by the erratic officers who would be deployed to crush the strike by any means necessary,” a resident of the area told SaharaReporters.
Police Probe Gang-Rape of Akwa Ibom Teenage Girl by Three Men
The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it had begun investigation into the case of a 16-year-old girl, who was gang-raped by three men in the Eyoabasi community, Oron Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the victim was gang-raped around 7pm on February 18, 2021, when she was coming back from a coaching class.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim, a Senior Secondary School 1 pupil, was allegedly attacked by three men and dragged into an uncompleted building and raped at gunpoint.
The victim, who managed to escape from the men, was said to have been rescued by a passerby when she fell.
It was gathered that the matter was reported at the Oron Divisional Police Headquarters.
However, the family accused police personnel at the station of trying to cover up the matter.
The victim’s uncle, Robinson Edumoh, alleged that the officer-in-charge of the juvenile, women and children unit at the station wrote a different statement for one of the suspects, who is in police custody and allegedly confessed to the crime, adding that the officer tried to turn the case against the victim.
He said, “My sister was directed to the woman in charge of the juvenile welfare unit, but she told her to come back the next Monday to collect the medical form.
“I called the DPO to tell him what happened and he requested that I should direct my sister to his office; she went and met with him and my sister got the medical form and took it to the hospital and the victim made a statement that she was attacked at gunpoint, but the police officers handling the case refused to carry out any search of the arrested suspect’s house to see if they would recover any arm until after a week.
“The officer-in-charge fabricated a statement for the arrested suspect that the victim said he was not involved. I met the DPO and he summoned the IPO and the OC, and when they got to his office, he asked her where the OC got the statement from and she started trading blames; so, the DPO ordered that the case file should be re-assigned to another officer and a search warrant should be executed to search the suspect’s house and the scene of the incident.”
Edumoh also alleged that after the Divisional Police Officer gave an order for the suspect’s house to be searched, the OC insisted on collecting money from the victim’s mother before executing the search warrant.
The victim’s uncle added that until he called the DPO again, the OC did not conduct a search on the suspect’s apartment.
He added, “I called the DPO again to tell him what the OC was saying; the DPO was mad at her before they were able to go to the suspect’s house on Friday, where they recovered live ammunition, and at the scene of the incident, the victim’s pants and her menstrual pad that the suspects tore were recovered one week after the incident.”
When contacted by our correspondent, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, refuted the claim that the police were covering up the matter.
He said the matter had been transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department in Uyo.
Macdon stated, “The matter has been transferred to the state command, because the divisional headquarters have no right to handle a rape case; we have a special section at the state CID that handles such cases, and if the police are trying to cover up the case, they won’t have gone to execute a search warrant, recover the victim’s pants, pad and locally-made ammunition, and arrest a suspect.
Gunmen Attack Passenger Bus, kill One, Abduct Passengers in Osun
Some unknown gunmen, Tuesday evening, killed a passenger and abducted some others along Osogbo/Ibokun road.
According to sources in the area, the incident occurred between 7:30 and 8:00 pm near Ajebandele, a village in the Obokun Local Government area, about three kilometres to Osogbo, the state capital.
The gunmen had reportedly attacked travellers and shot dead a man, whose name is not immediately available, while an unspecified number of passengers were also abducted.
The Field Commander, Amotekun Corps in Osun, Amitolu Shittu, who was at the scene of the crime, confirmed the incident.
Amitolu said the deceased was shot dead by the attackers, whom he said carried AK-47 riffles, adding that search and rescue operation had commenced for those abducted.