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144 Unilag Students Explore Tourism Potential of Ile-Ife

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No fewer than 144  students from the Department of Sociology and Social Work from the  University of Lagos ( Unilag) , on Saturday had a  tour of tourism sites in Ile-Ife,  Osun.
Some of the students told  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the excursion that  it  was meant to expose them to the culture, tradition, heritage sites of the ancient city.
They said it would  help them  to appreciate  and further understand  what ‘ Inter Group Relations’  an aspect of their course in school was really about.
NAN reports that the students were taken on tour of  the National Museum, the Ooni’s Palace, Ile Ase, Oranmiyan, Oduduwa, Moremi groves and a host of other tourists’ destinations.
One of the students, Favour Yinka-Ojo,  said that the visit to the ancient city had satisfied her curiousity to know more about the town.
Yinka-Ojo said that she had been able to clear her doubts and ascertained that those stories about the ancient city were actually true and  not false or jokes as she had  thought in the past.
The undergraduate who was amased at  the tradition and culture of Ife advised tour operators to intensify efforts in projecting the city as a tourism hub for both local and international tourists.
” I have seen lots of artefacts in the museum, Oranmiyan and Moremi groves, seeing these groves makes me believe the stories surrounding them .
” We have a very rich history and cultural heritages which must be well promoted for international recognition and in turn, to generate huge revenue for the country,” she said.
Also, Moyosore Odugbesan said that everything she had seen at the museum and within the palace had complimented everything she was taught in school.
” Truly seeing is believing, we can now relate these things to our junior colleagues in school to create the thirst in them to know more of the linkages that exist between Ife and other parts of the country.
” The museum is accommodating beautiful aspects of our cultural heritage but they are not well maintained.
” Government must ensure proper preservation of these artefacts in the museum; the entire museum galleries were stuffy, not conducive at all and I feel such atmosphere is dangerous for the artefacts,” she said.
Similarly,Mubarak Olaleye who hails from the state but said she only  had the opportunity to do so through the  tour session was amased at the beautiful culture of the ancient city.
Olaleye had been exposed to the traditional method used in tackling problems of infertility in women, cultural practises in the olden day .
” I never knew that my state of origin is this blessed and rich in culture until now, I look forward to visiting more regularly because there are lots of tourism assets to be tapped here,” he said.
Sarah Owoka, a Social Worker student from the institution said that  the history behind the ancient city and most of its deities were mysterious.
Owoka said that the histories had helped visitors to the sites to appreciate nature more.
She said that  understanding different stages in the process of technological advancement exhibited at the museum was quite educating and entertaining.
Dr Augustine Agugua, a lecturer in the University and the course convener of the tour said that the students were meant to understudy the linkages existing between Ife and other places in the country.
He said that the ancient city occupied significant cultural linkages in the history of Nigeria and Yoruba race
According to him, these linkages can influence or inform issues that border on cultural renaissance in Nigeria and Africa.
” The tour was to enable the students leavrage on maintenance of cultural links and history
” Oyo, Benin, the Eastern and Western parts of the country have linkages with Ife town; these linkages are what we want the students to understand in tackling their course in school which has to do with inter group relations.
” It is a mind blowing tour, entertaining and educating; the experience gathered here will  prompt us to organise another one soon which will warrant the students to tour the city in four  days.
” Then,  they will go  on a  tour of the  Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) which is also a tourist site on its own,” he said. (NAN)
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