….As Ooni adorns Are crown to celebrate Olojo festival
By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Culture and tradition enthusiasts on Saturday converged on Ile-Ife, Osun state to pay homage to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in celebration of the 2021 annual Olojo festival.
Osun State Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi led the state government’s entourage to the festival, joined by his Kogi State counterpart, Mr. Edward Onoja, who represented Governor Yahaya Bello.
Traditional rulers from various states in the Southwest and East also thronged the Ile-Oodua Palace, the venue of the grand finale.
Addressing the gathering on behalf of Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, Dep. Gov Alabi disclosed that his administration will provide infrastructure to make Ile-Ife a mecca for cultural enthusiasts globally.
“This festival, which is regarded as the day of the first dawn, accentuates the place and the importance of Ile-Ife to creation and humanity. We must all, therefore, join hands together to celebrate it and accord it its rightful place.
“Last year, our Government promised that the Yoruba Museum and the World Heritage Centre, the first of its kind, would be located in Ile-Ife.
“To actualize this, the documents of the land allocated for the project have been handed over to me by the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, led by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunmodede. In no distant time, work will commence on the project.
“When completed, the project will be a supporting tourism infrastructure for the pilgrimage of Yoruba at home and in the diaspora”, he said.
Having received royal homage from other Monarchs, Chiefs, and groups present at the event, the Ooni retreated into Emese Court, where he adorned the Are crown to commence traditional rites.
Oba Adeyeye emerged with the ancient crown from the court around 5:15 pm and headed for Ile-Nla, the abode of previous Oonis before moving to the palace gate, praying in the process for the Yoruba race and the world entirely.
In company of his messengers, the Ooni proceed to Oke-Mogun to meet with the custodian of the Ogun deity, who is described as the principal character of the festival. At the shrine, the Ooni with the Osogun moves around seven times to symbolize the days of the week.
After completing the rite at Oke-Mogun, the monarch and his entourage relocate to Aje shrine before moving to the first market in the ancient town, known as Ejigbomekun, where the other 400 deities unanimously elected Oduduwa to lead the Yoruba race.
The rites at the market preceded the break of a new dawn for the whole of humanity.
Other dignitaries at the gathering include Queen Shilekunola Adeyeye, Hon Taofeek Ajilesoro, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, Mr. Dele Momodu, Chief (Mrs) Toyin Kolade.