News

June 18, 2024

FG to list Ojude Oba as UNESCO approved festival

Ojude Oba

By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

The federal government on Tuesday disclosed its desire to activate plans to list the annual Ojude Oba festival, as one of the of the festivals backed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Minister of Culture, Art and Creative Economy, Barrister Hannatu Musa-Musawa, who said this at the annual Ojude Oba festival, held at Awujale’s pavilion, Ijebu-Ode, noted that the annual festival is in tune with the President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda mandate for the ministry, which seeks to take revenue generation from tourism to over $100bn by 2030.

The global festival which showcases the rich cultural heritage and endowments of the people of Ijebuland is celebrated every third day of Eid-el-Adha.

This theme for this year’s celebrations is “Ojude Oba: Unity and Harmony, Our Gift”

The Minister described the annual festival as a platform that fosters the unity of the country in diversity, as well as one of the country’s tourism potentials that can be tapped into to diversify the economy from oil and generates more resources for the country.

She said, “in line with the President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the Ministry will always collaborate with stakeholders to promote, preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of our nation to ensure it reaches its enviable height according to our vision for the Ministry called destination 2030.

“This vision considers the potentials in arts, culture and creative economy in terms of its ability to create economic expansion. Our ambitious goals is predicated on this drive which is capable of yielding over $100bn, an increase in the gross domestic product by the year 2030”.

She said that the Presidential Renewed Hope Agenda, especially for the ministry demonstrated unwavering commitment to diversify the economy and move away from the country’s over depedence on oil revenue.

While rejoicing with the sons and daughters of Ijebuland over the success of the festival and the good image it has given the country over the years, Barr Musa-Musawa said that she had also observed that the festival has not gotten no elements of UNESCO approval as one of its approved festival.

The Minister said, the status of a festival like Ojude-Oba with its profound impacts in the tourism sector of the country deserves to be listed by the international body, vowing to activate all the processes to get this done without further delay.

Speaking at the event, the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun hailed Ojude-Oba and described it as a festival that has given Ijebuland and indeed, the people of Ogun State a distinct identity.

Governor Abiodun said that the
festival has become a catalyst for the development of Ijebuland, and this underscores the essence of preserving our rich cultural heritage.

While rejoicing with the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and other sons and daughters of Ijebuland over this year’s celebrations, the governor promised to partner with the federal government to develop the festival and make it a global tourist attraction and destination.

The governor said that the theme of the celebration was quite apt as unity and harmony remains the bedrock of any thriving society, calling for a more united force to lift the country out of its present woes.

The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona who is the chief host of this colorful event was on seat to receive over 100 age grades group of males and females (Regberegbes) decked in resplendent attires, who came around to pay annual homage to the traditional ruler.

The horse riders who are from the warrior families in Ijebuland were also on hand to thrill the fun seekers to various acrobatic displays with their horses

Dignitaries at the event included, former governors of Ogun State; Chief Olusegun Osoba and Senator Gbenga Daniel, who is currently representing Ogun East at the Senate.

Others were the Deputy Governor, Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Senator Shuib Salis representing Ogun Central at the Senate, the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Daisi Elemide, wife of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mrs Abosede Adelami, wife of former President of Nigeria, Mrs Bola Obasanjo, the Accountant General of the federation, Dr Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, among other distinguished Nigerians and guests.