An Osun devotee holds a sacrificial cock by the wings during the Osun-Osugbo Festival in Osogbo, southwestern Nigeria on August 17, 2018. Thousands of people attend the yearly Osun-Osugbo Festival to celebrate and make sacrifices to the river goddess Osun in return for fertility and good fortune. / AFP PHOTO
Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
The annual international Osun Osogbo festival has commenced on Monday with the traditional road cleansing, known as “Iwopopo”.
The traditional ritual involved the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji and his Chiefs, as well as wives walking from the palace at Oja-Oba to Gbaemu Junction where the forbearer pray for guest and visitors to have a safe trip to the state capital.
The monarch while praying for intending visitors to have a safe trip to the festival, called on the state government to invest on the festival, which he described as a major tourist attraction site.
According to the monarch, I have expended about a million naira on the repair of the pavilion at the Osun groove and we ensure that he get repayment from the state government.
“I will register and made known my grievances, to the representative of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, he (Oyetola) has never physically graced the celebration of Osun Osogbo festival, he always sends representative, I am not surprised.
“I will not hesitate to tell you that the pavilion at the Osun groove has collapsed, and almost one million naira will be used to repair it but Ataoja who is your representative is repairing it, you can go to the groove to check or inspect the work, everything that I am spending on it, I will collect it from him (Governor)”.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Olalekan Badmus said government is committed to revamping tourism in the state as a major area for revenue generation.