A university don, Professor Charles Bodunde, has stated that Creative Art has been described as a veritable tool for fighting corruption and that creative intellectuals have a vital role to play in destroying corruption and the undesirable link it maintains with power.

Professor Bodunde, who stated this in a keynote address on Tuesday, 4th April, 2017, as part of events (OBAFEST 2017), with the theme, “Poetry Against Corruption”, marking the birthday of Professor Olu Obafemi the renowned playwright and culture exponent, at the Kwara State Council for Arts and Culture, Ilorin.

He quoted Susan Rose Ackerman, as saying that, “corruption is a symptom that the political system is operating with little concern for the broader public interest”; and described corruption as one of the most destructive diseases of the Third World.

Earlier, the President of Poetry Enclave (POEN), Ibadan, Oyo State, Mr. Ebika Anthony, welcomed all guests at the occasion, describing poetry, as a driving force that will go round the city of words; and that poetry will get to the market place, the town square, the parliament, the barracks and social centres and wipe off corruption.

In his address, the Executive Director, Kwara State Council for Arts and Culture, Mr. Bisi Oyewole, who was the chief host, expressed gratitude and pleasure as a programme of such magnitude was capable of creating opportunities for the youth to discover their talents and make use of them to provide means of livelihood instead of looking for jobs that are not available.

The atmosphere at the Kwara State Council for Arts and Culture was full of excitement as different personalities did poetry reading, cultural dances and excerpts of plays, including distinguished Professor Femi Osofisan, who also presented a captivating poem on corruption.

Some poets and lovers of poetry, whose works were presented, were Prof. Sunday Ododo, Dr. Solomon Iguanre, Dr. Abdullahi Abubakar, Dr. Gabriel Nyitse, Mr.Sina Oladeinde, Mr. Idowu Adesanya, and Mr. Emmanuel Abimbola.

A play entitled, “Unity in Diversity”, was staged by the students of the Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin; it is a story of two ethnic groups, the Nupe and the Okun people.

The play narrates how the war between the Nupes and the Okuns ended when the son and daughter of the two ethnic groups, respectively, fell in love; and the product of the love affair is a child bearing both Nupe and Okun names, which brings us to what we have today in present day Kabba and Bunu, where names of both tribes are given to children born from such marriages.

However, the play was also used to portray corruption as a virus, which has underdeveloped the society, as a member of the Okun community (Alake) was asked to get weapons for the community from the White men to enable them fight the Nupes; and Alake takes advantage of the people´s ignorance to extort them by demanding for things the White men never asked from the community.

Former Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, closed the festival with the launch of a book, entitled, Public Mediation and Society, written by the celebrant, Professor Olu Obafemi.

OBAFEST 2017 was well attended by dignitaries, including the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah (Vice Chancellor, KWASU), Chief Guest of Honour, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (former Governor Ondo state), Mr. Emmanuel Obafemi (Registrar, University of Ilorin), HoDs of Theatre Arts Departments from Nigerian Universities and traditional rulers.

With the Zonal Coordinator, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) North-Central, Ilorin, Mr. Ohi Ojo, were Mr. Ariyo Adeoti (HoD, Orientation and Cultural Affairs), Mr. Samuel Hedima (HoU, Corporate Affairs/ICT), and Mrs. Jumoke Adewuyi of Admin and Human Resources.

Samuel Hedima

Corporate Affairs/ICT Unit

NICO North-Central, Zone