BY DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA—THE Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has disclosed that he would throw his weight behind the yearnings and aspirations of Ijebus in ensuring that Ijebu State is created.
The lawmaker stated this at the 2013 annual Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, Ijebu Ode local government area of Ogun State.
Ojude-Oba is a celebration of culture, fashion, glamour, candour, beauty and royalty as sons and daughters of Ijebuland in their different attires celebrated the festival amid pomp and pageantry.
The Speaker also revealed that he and his colleagues were working towards ensuring that royal fathers are giving a chance in the executive council of the states so as to join in the deliberations apart from playing an advisory role.
In his address, the governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun congratulated the monarch, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and all sons and daughters of Ijebu for the successful hosting of the festival every year, saying, it is among what makes the State one of the tourist destinations in Nigeria.
The governor, however, gave the assurance that his administration will never relent in his support of the Ijebus in their clamour for Ijebu State, adding that, “I believe that the people have what it takes to be a state in terms of both human and natural resources.”
The festival witnessed sons and daughters of Ijebu including the Baloguns, age-groups (Regberegbes), societies and various groups paying homage to the Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II, at the newly constructed edifice directly opposite his palace.
Aside the parade of the Regberegbes, sounds of gunshots, traditional songs, poems and horses display rain the air at the festival which was witnessed by crowd from far and near including the foreigners.
Among the dignitaries at the occasion included Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, wife of Ogun State governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, the state deputy governor, Prince Segun Adesegun, Secretary to Ogun State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa and members of the state executive council.
Others are the three Senators representing the State: Gbenga Obadara (Ogun Central), Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka (Ogun East), Odunsi (Ogun West).
Also, two members of the House of Representatives from Ogun State, Abiodun Akinlade (Yewa South/Imeko/ Ipokia Constituency) and Abiodun Abudu representing Ogun Waterside/Ijebu North/Ijebu East Constituency were present.
The governor used the occasion to assure all sons and daughters of Ijebu-Ode of his commitment to the completion of the ongoing flyovers at both the expressway and Lagos garage axes of the town, soliciting for patience from the people as funds and the weather condition had been the cause of the delay.
In his remarks, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Adetona expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the nation, saying; “It is of course a great pity that Nigeria, an anticipated land flowing with milk and honey at independence has today become a nation of ills and shame.
Corruption has become pervasive and endemic, nepotism is rife, infrastructure is decayed, collapsed education system, kidnapping, armed robbery, pen robbery, child abuse and human trafficking, comatose economy, lack of unemployment have all become the order of the day.
“Our political landscape has today become a nightmare and more so with the approach of 2015 elections.”
One of the highlights of the occasion is the presentation of trophies to the winners among the regberegbe’s and the horse riders.
The three panelists for this year’s Ojude Oba festival were Chief Fassy Yussuf, Coordinator of Ojude Oba 2013, Mrs Ronke Amusan, Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism and Mrs Dupe Ajayi-Gbadebo.
In the male category, Egbe Bobagunte (1959-1961) came first while the age group of Awujale, Egbe Mafowoku came second with the third position going to Egbe Arobayo Akile (1968-1971)while in the female category, Egbe Jagunmolu (Original) came first while Egbe Bobakeye (Double T)came second with another Bobakeye group (Surakat Group) came third.
From the Balogun’s (horse riders) families, the Otun Balogun of Ijebuland, Chief Agboola Alausa led the Alausa family to clinch the first position while Balogun Adesoye came second.
Bullet from dane gun
Meantime, the festival nearly turned bloody when a bullet from a dane gun fired by one of the hunters hit one of the celebrants, leaving him bleeding.
The ugly incident occurred when one of the prominent families in Ijebuland was called for horse display and the victim identified as a photographer was hit on the head as he wanted to take a shot.
Some people believed to be hunters were firing into the air to salute the traditional ruler, the Awujale, Oba Sikiru Adetona before one of them misfired.
Security operatives quickly arrested the hunter while the photographer was treated at a medical facility within the Ojude-Oba Festival grounds.