The ancient city of Ijebu Ode came alive over the weekend when it played host to several dignitaries, indigenes and tourists who trooped in to experience this year’s Ojude Oba cultural festival in Ijebuland.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, both described the festival as scintillating and unrivaled.
The 2017 edition of the annual festival, held on Sunday at the Jubilee Square, near the Awujale’s palace in Ijebu Ode.
Oba Adetona said, “I give thanks to God for another opportunity to witness this year’s Ojude Oba and I pray that we will all witness many more of it.
“Many thanks to the governor for his support all the time; the same thing goes to the ‘regberegbe’ and the Baloguns.
“I must state that Ojude Oba has become a festival which cannot be rivalled. The festival has been in existence for over a century and it has continued to improve every year.”
Governor Amosun, promised that his administration would continue to provide necessary support for the festival as well as continue to uphold the people’s culture.
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He said, “We thank God that the Kabiyesi is hale and hearty; we were all worried over the unfounded story about him.
“We will continue to create the enabling environment for festivals like this to continue to thrive. This is a festival that has come to stay and it will outlive all of us.”
Dr. Adebola Adegunwa, in his capacity as the guest of honour at the event, urged the Ijebu people to guard the festival jealously because it had become a rallying point for them.
The annual fiesta, which brings all Ijebu sons and daughters, home and abroad together, featured colourful parade by age-grade groups, known as ‘regberegbe.’
The horse riders, majorly made up of the Baloguns, had their turn. Accompanied by drummers and followers, they paid homage to the royal father, the state governor and other dignitaries.