BY RAYMOND OSHO
The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona has warned that kingmakers in Ijebu be strict in selecting the next Awujale.
Oba Adetona handed down this warning on Tuesday August 13, 2019 at this year Ojude Oba Festival that took place in Ijebu-Ode with pomp and pageantry
Awujale advised the kingmakers not to be money driven in the selection process of an Oba.
Sons and daughters of Ijebuland both at home and in the Diaspora, converged on the Awujale Pavilion Ijebu-Ode, in their attention catching and fascinating outfits to celebrate the age-long festival.
Addressing the over three thousand audience, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State Governor, said the Ojude Oba Festival has metamorphosed from being an homage paying visit to the Awujale to becoming a unifying traditional festival among the Ijebus and the entire people of Ogun State.
The Governor stressed that the festival has contributed immensely to the growth and development of not only the Ijebus, but also the entire Ogun State.
He expressed his confidence that the Ojude Oba Festival was capable of enriching the Nigerian culture and improves its economy, saying it could also improve the country’s cultural and socio-economic development.
According to Abiodun; “The Ojude Oba Festival has grown to become a major communal activity that brings about the general development not only to the Ijebu community, but to the entire Ogun State.”
His words: Ojude Oba Festival has grown to become one of the most popular socio-cultural events in the entire South-West region of Nigeria and indeed a global tourist attraction.
“Kabiyesi, your fatherly role in preserving the pomp and pageantry as well as the style and substance of this great event is worthy of commendation.”
“Distinguished ladies and gentleman, let me observe that the choice of Ojude Oba Festival could not have been more apt, considering the fact that Ijebuland occupies a very important place in the development agenda of Ogun State.
“In the area of culture and tourism, Ijebuland is home to very interesting artifacts and historic sites as well as unique traditions and customs of which the Ojude Oba Festival is one. It showcases the cooperation and collaborative tendencies of the rich Yoruba culture.
“Permit me to note that the lesson of collaborative effort, which the yearly commemoration of the Ojude Oba Festival promotes, is significant to the successful implementation of our administration’s “Building our Future Together” agenda.”
“As an administration, we understand the fact that no meaningful development can occur without the collaborative efforts of all and sundry. We understand that, for any development to take place, the people have an important role to play by contributing meaningfully and positively.
“We therefore seek the support and cooperation of our people at all times in our quest to build a solid foundation for the future of our dear state.”
Abiodun added that, “Let me use this medium to thank the good people of Ogun State for their belief and trust in our administration, particularly, for entrusting the fate of Ogun State on us. We promise that we will not betray the mandate our people bestowed on us in the last gubernatorial election.”
The Governor however pledged that his administration would continue to support the festival, saying, “We are desirous of sustaining and promoting culture, tourism and the lessons of the positive development that would be engendered through our collective efforts.”
Theme: “The Uniqueness of Ijebu Nationwide’, this year Ojude Oba was spiced up with various traditional activities.
Ojude Oba Festival started over 50 years ago as paying homage visit to the Awujale by the Ijebu-Ode Muslim Community under the leadership of Balogun Odueyungbo Kuku who was the second Balogun of Ijebu-Ode.
Sponsored by the giant telecommunication firm, Globacom Limited, this year historic festival enjoyed the presence of eminent personalities among whom were the Alafin of Oyoland, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, CEO of Globacom Limited, Chief Wale Adenuga, former Ogun State governors, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Chief Sgeun Osoba and Otunba Subomi Balogun among a host of others.