The Executive Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko in a bid to woo worthy Ondo indigenes back home, and at a Gala Night to mark One Year anniversary of his administration arrested a crowd of overwhelmed indigenes and friends of Ondo State with a triumphant speech of concrete achievements of his One Year in office. One of those at the event was one of Nigeria’s ace stand-up comedians, AY.
Called Iroko, and loved for his various achievements in 12 months, the Governor and his wife (it was gathered) insisted on AY as MC at the Gala event where some of Ondo state greatest icons would converge to celebrate his first pace-setting year. In doing so, Iroko officially brought AY back to his state of origin. Up until last week, AY has not performed in the State since he began his professional Stand-up career.
When the Gala night kicked off, many guests recognized AY as one of the Peace Ambassador to the United Nations from Ondo State but were a little skeptical about his Ondo indigene claims until he cracked funny jokes in his native Ifon dialect, and when he introduced one of his uncles, a former Ose Local Council chairman, who was coincidentally present at the Gala Night.
AY won the heart of his fellow ‘Sun Shiners as he was at his professional best at the Gala Night to the admiration and excitement of Ondo greats and friends of the Sunshine state comprising of Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Olu Akinkungbe, Dr. Wale Babalakin, Ayo Fayose(former Ekiti Governor), Elizade’s Chief Micheal Ade-Ojo, and Showbiz personalities like Adewale Ayuba, Shola Allyson, Jimi Sholanke, and Ara – the talking drummer.
Thrilled at AY’s performance, Mimiko wrapped up the night thanking those who have been supportive of his administration from his inception. He ended his Vote of Thanks specially acknowledging AY and “for promoting Ondo state” in his AY Magazine. 5000 copies of the Magazine was distributed free at AY Live, Abuja Invasion – the sold out event that won the Comedy Event of the Year courtesy the National Youth Council of Nigeria in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Youth Development.
Oluseyi Adeniyi, the Senior Special Assistant to Mimiko on Special Duties took AY on a private infrastructure tour after the event, where AY felt, firsthand, the beat of Mimiko’s Caring Heart initiatives – the improved rural development, the community-driven No-To-Poverty Programme, and aggressive roads rehabilitation. AY was particularly wowed when he got to the site of the construction of a 2,500 capacity Ultra-modern international Cultural & Event Centre along Igbatoro Road in Akure. And he was already contemplating staging his award-winning AY Live at venue he imagines would be an architectural masterpiece.
“It feels great to be finally recognized at home,” AY said after the event and tour. He was so appreciative of his Governor “for defying the age-long adage that a prophet is not recognized in his home.” In return, AY pledged his “support to the government, and people of Ondo state –entertainment wise.”