Special Reports- Ojude-Oba: Rich, Colourful Cultural Festival To BeholdArts, Entertainment Thursday, October 9th, 2014
By Adeseye Adebiyi
The Ojude Oba annual Festival has come to stay and since become Mecca of a sort not only to the Ijebus – the hosting land, but to every fun lover as well as the tourists across the continents.
The festival is elaborately celebrated by the Ijebu natives with the support and collaboration of the successful sons and daughters of the sub Yourba tribe, corporate bodies, government and various interest groups.
The one day colourful occasion which usually holds on the third day of the annual Muslim Eid –el – Kabir festival, otherwise referred to as Ileya, promotes the rich and distinct cultural heritage of the Ijebu kingdom.
This year’s edition held without exception, rather, with more pumps and fanfare in the mainbowl of Awujale of Ijebuland Palace stadium, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, South Western Nigeria, with participants representing different strata of the society in attendance.
The last Ojude Oba Festival which held Monday paraded very prominent Nigerian personalities such as the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, the Chief Host and Royal Father of the Day, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, former Defence Minister Lt (Rtd) T.Y. Danjuma, his wife, Senator Daisy as the special Guest of Honour, immediate past state Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, one of the Nigerian foremost industrialists, Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun among so many others in the government and private sectors, within and outside the country.
The glamorous festival featured procession by different traditional groups, regarded as Regbegbe (children of Oba Sikiru Adetona), the paramount ruler of the Akile Ijebu land. As they marched, the groups which cladded in different beautiful apparels and paraphenillia were chanting praises and praying for the monarch’s long live and prosperity.
The group members are based in different parts of the world. They are determined to device and map out plans to make the Ijebu kingdom great and a pacesseter with the welfare of the paramount traditional ruler as priority.
During the delightful spectacle, the reigning Balogun and his associates, all dressed in the traditional regalia, engaged in a mock battle as they paid homage to the king, all to add more glamours to the big event.
The cultural display has transited from one generation to the other where the descendants of the Baloguns (War – Lords) usually march to the king’s palace to pay homage in honour of their ancestors.
The Ijebus have a very great history. Their war lords (Balogun) fought and stood firm to protect the kingdom from oppression and slavery. Which is the reason why they never suffered enslavement and their descendants are very educated, successful and powerful.
The Ijebus are specially reputed for their enviable skills in garri processing and production, planks and sawmill businesses as well as in industrial sector.
No wonder, the seemingly endless list of the kingdom’s successful sons and daughters include prominent names such as the political icon, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo; the great educationist, late Dr. Augustus Tai Solarin; the business monguls – Otunba Subomi Balogun, Chief Mike Adenuga among so many others.
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