Odunayo Ogunmola,Ado Ekiti
I donít know what Ayefele has done that made them to give him a national honour ahead of me
He is no doubt an enigma in the music industry who has used his talent to promote his dialect and placed Ekiti State on the world map of music.
But he is unhappy that his contribution to the entertainment industry which has been acknowledged locally and internationally has not been recognized by both the Ekiti State Government and the Federal Government.
High Chief Elemure Ogunyemi is crying foul over the failure of Ekiti State Government to nominate him for this yearís National Honours.
Four persons from Ekiti State who were decorated with National Honours. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Anti-Corruption, Senator Sola Akinyede,(OON); the Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON); former Deputy Governor of old Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo, OON and musician, Mr. Yinka Ayefele, Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
Ogunyemi who holds the chieftaincy title Elejoka of Isaba in Ikole Local Government Area of the state believes that if there is any musician from Ekiti State who is to be considered for the national honour, it should be him given his contribution to traditional music and his roles in the struggle for the creation of Ekiti State.
Elemure wondered why the successive governments in the state had always overlooked him when individuals are being nominated for national award.
His modest office where he attends to his clients is festooned with various plaques and shields showing local and international awards he had received in the course of his 38-year career as a musician.
Elemure had collected over 105 local and international awards from the various institutions including a honourary doctorate degree from the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) which he received in 1994.
He had waxed about 108 albums with several hits like "Seramo", "Isokan Ekiti", "Ekiti Kete", among several others.
Local musicians like Dan Maraya Jos, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Oliver de Coque, among others had been recipients of national awards at one time or the other but Ogunyemi who is popularly known in Ekiti as "Elemure" is telling whoever cares to listen that it is hightime he bagged the national honour.
While maintaining that he has nothing personal against Yinka Ayefele whom he described as his "son", Ogunyemi wondered what contribution Ayefele who hails from Ipoti-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area, has contributed to the development of the state and music that made him (Ayefele) to be qualified for national award ahead of himself (Ogunyemi).
The music star who had taken Ekiti music to various parts of the world where he received many awards said he had opportunities to be living in places like Lagos or Ibadan but he chose to remain at home to always contribute his quota to his beloved state by paying his tax at home and projecting the image of Ekiti to the outside world.
He also slammed political office holders in the state whom he accused of "use-and-dump syndrome" noting that they always engage him to sing for them during their electioneering campaigns but always overlook him for others who have contributed little or nothing to the development of the state.
His words: "Before the creation of Ekiti State, I used to tell the government continuously for four years on the need to have our own state which I started from my albunm entitled "Ekiti Yeye".
"Then, if we wanted to pay our tax, we paid it to the government in Akure and during census and other government programmes, officials used to come from Akure where our illustrious sons and daughters were holding sway in the civil service.
"Ondo State was created in our presence and I believe that there was need to have a state of our own to ensure overall development in social, political and economic circles
"The only honour that I have is that doors are opened for me anywhere in the South West States of Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun and other parts of Nigeria where people acknowledge my contributions to the development of music but I am demanding that my own due be given to me as it concerns national award..
"I donít know what Ayefele has done that made them to give him a national honour ahead of me and I know that it is the home governments that nominate the awardees as demanded by the Federal Government.
"There is no doubt that Ayefele is now a multi-millionaire but he only renovated his fatherís house at Ipoti. He does not have a personal house of his in Ipoti but he has several buioldings in Ibadan where he is based.
"I have arrived in Ekiti since 1979 even though I can afford to stay ouytside the state. I want to let our current political office holders in Ekiti know that it is because Ekiti is now good that is why they can now come home to become governors, senators, House of Representatives and House of Assembly members.
"I have been on stage for almost 40 years having started music in 1972 when Ayefele would have been a toddler even if he had been born then. In fact, he prostrates to greet me anytime we meet despite his physical condition.
"I am happy that Ayefele was awarded an MON but if they want to give it to any musician from Ekiti State today, I should be the first to be considered
"I have used my philosophical songs to bring positive change to Ekit State. Yoruba land and entire Nigeria and I have never used my songs to abuse anybody.
"Isokan Ekiti that I recently waxed was used to rally Ekiti in the Diaspora many of whom I had met in my overseas musical tours to come home and invest and I am after the unity of Ekiti and that of Nigeria.
"Whatever vision I see about Nigeria-economy, education, social, traditional institution, government policies and war against indiscipline-I use my music to get the message across to fellow countrymen.
"They should urgently look into the fact that an Ekiti traditional musician should be given a national award by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that is Elemure Ogunyemi.
"The political leaders in Ekiti should always remember the musicians they normally use during campaigns, they should not dump them and we should not sell our honour and integrity".