By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo on Monday urged parents and guardians to ensure that their wards are educated, insisting that girl child education is important.
The Alake, who lamented the low level of education among the girls, stressed that there was urgent need for parents to reverse the trend.
He spoke at his Ake Place during a press conference held to kick-start the 2019 Lisabi festival.
Alake emphasised that the committee have addressed girl child education before but were forced to address the issue based on the increase in out of school girls.
His words: “Education is very paramount for our girls, we must encourage girl child education. The population of the girls are more than the boys so we must ensure they are educated.”
Alake stressed that girls must also be encouraged to take up science courses in order to increase numbers of scientists in the country.
The Egba Monarch described street hawking of girls as child abuse, urging those in concern to address the ugly trend.
Alake said that Lisabi was not just about dancing and merry but an avenue to discuss how egbaland would develop.
“We don’t just dance and sing during the lisabi festival, we address issues that will take our people to the next level”, he said
He said there is nothing stopping parents naming their child Lisabi, saying Lisabi was a hero for the Egba people
He stressed, “If our children no longer have Oriiki is our fault (parents) because when you use them they remain alive.”
The Alake also advised the Egba people to imbibe the culture of the land by embracing the Adire fabric, eat the local Ofada rice and many other things.
Oba Gbadebo disclosed that this year’s festival would witness seminar on girl child education, local wrestling competition among others.
He also disclosed that as part of activities lined up for the festival, a 28 feet Lisabi Statue would be unveiled at Adatan roundabout area of Abeokuta.
On pre- governorship election process, Alake revealed that teh Egba Traditional council was neutral, saying “a good father does not show preference to one child “
The chairman committee of the festival, Chief Raji Rasheed earlier on his address said there is no amount of money spent on children education that is wasteful, urging the parents to take their wards education seriously.
The theme for the festival is “Girl-Child Education: A tool for Positive Change in Egbaland”.
The grand finale of the festival comes up on Saturday, March 30th with Governor Ibikunle Amosun as the Special Guest of honour.