Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun yesterday described the Ojude Oba Cultural Festival as a unifying traditional festival among the Ijebu and the entire people of Ogun State.
Abiodun said Ijebu land occupies an important place in the development agenda of the Gateway State.
The governor hailed the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, for his fatherly role in preserving the pomp and pageantry of the Ojude Oba Festival as well as the style and substance of the annual carnival.
Abiodun spoke in Ijebu-Ode at this year’s Ojude Oba Cultural Festival/Carnival.
The event was sponsored by Globacom, a major national and international telecom operator.
The governor assured that his administration would continue to support the festival as it is desirous of sustaining and promoting culture, tourism and the lessons of the positive development that would be engendered through collective efforts.
He said: “The Ojude Oba Festival has metamorphosed from being an homage-paying visit to the Awujale by the Ijebu-Ode Muslim community, led by Balogun Odueyungbo Kuku (the second Balogun of Ijebu-Ode), to becoming a unifying traditional festival among the Ijebu and the entire people of Ogun State.
“The Ojude Oba Festival has grown to become a major communal activity that brings about general development, not only to the Ijebu community but to the entire Ogun State. As a government, we are most delighted to be part of the 2019 Ojude Oba Festival.
“Let me observe that the choice of the theme for this year’s Ojude Oba Festival, The Uniqueness of Ijebu Nation, could not have been more apt, considering the fact that Ijebu land occupies a very important place in the development agenda of Ogun State.
“The Ijebu are known to be successful merchants and entrepreneurs. Ijebu is home to many renowned sons and daughters of Ogun State who have made their marks in different walks of life, notably among whom are: Chief Adeola Odutola, Chief Okunowo, Chief Bayo Kuku, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Otunba Subomi Balogun, Oba Otudeko, Prof Akin Mabogunje, Chief Mike Adenuga, Baba Okuboyejo, Prof. Oyinade Olurin, Prof. Beatrice Aboyade, and many others too numerous to mention here.
“In the area of culture and tourism, Ijebu land is home to very interesting artefacts and historic sites as well as unique traditions and customs of which the Ojude Oba Festival is one. In addition, Ijebu Kingdom is endowed with numerous and long-standing tourist attractions, such as the Birikisu Sugbo Shrine, Yemoji Natural Pool, Iwasi Eco-tourism Centre, Iwopin Water Front, Ebute Oni Tourist Beach, the magnificent Awujale Palace and so on.
“It is no gainsaying that the Ojude Oba Festival has grown to become one of the most popular socio-cultural events in the entire Southwest of Nigeria and indeed a global tourist attraction. It showcases the cooperation and collaborative tendencies of the rich Yoruba culture.
“Our administration will continue to support this great festival as we are desirous of sustaining and promoting culture, tourism and the lessons of the positive development that would be engendered through our collective efforts.
“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…”