By Femi Adediran, Abeokuta
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, business mogul and philanthropist, Sir Kessington Adebutu and the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun are among the prominent personalities expected to grace this year’s Ojude Oba Festival.
The Chairman of the planning Committee of the 2019 Ojude Oba Festival Committee, Otunba Wahab Osinusi who made the disclosure at a press conference organised to herald activities marking the epoch making event, said the choice of Adebutu as the Special Guest of Honour at this year’s festival was informed by Adebutu’s track records of achievements as a “consummate business magnate, foremost industrialist and a great philanthropist.”
The festival which has been in existence for about two centuries is a spectacular celebration of the Ijebu people in Southwest Nigeria to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Ijebu people.
According to Osinusi, the festival has been embraced not only by Ijebus at home and abroad, but also by millions of people within and outside Nigeria.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Ojude Oba: The uniqueness of the Ijebu Nation”.
Speaking of the socio-economic importance of the event, Osinusi said, the festival is not only all about equestrian display, parade of culture and tradition but also “boost commerce and trade in its entirety as commercial and trading activities are at their peak before, during and after the festival.”
Also speaking, the Regional (Lagos and Ogun States) Activation Manager of Globacom, the telecommunications giant and the chief sponsor of the Festival, Mr. Olufolahan Feseyitan described the Festival as a gift of the Ijebu nation to Nigeria and the world, “being a unique case study of religious tolerance and harmony”.
He commended the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, for using the Festival to address issues germane to the development of Ijebuland.
According to Feseyitan, “The annual Ojude Oba Festival is a rallying point for all Ijebu to pay homage to the Awujale and collectively share thoughts on how to take Ijebuland to the next level of social and infrastructural development.”
Feseyitan also commended the Monarch for what he described as his giants strides recorded in Ijebuland since he ascended the throne of his forefathers 59 years ago.
He noted that Globacom has been the major sponsor of the festival for 16 years and acknowledged the efforts of the Awujale in uniting Ijebus through the Festival.
“We note that Alaiyeluwa has been using his clout to bring high networth personalities to grace the Festival as Special Guests thereby raising the profile of the festival and the status of Ijebuland. We know that this year will not be different too”, Feseyitan said.
The side attractions for this year’s Festival is the beauty pageant tagged, “Miss Ojude Oba Festival Beauty Pageant” and a musical concert where fuji icon, Abass Obesere and multi-talented musician Keshinro Ololade popularly known as Lill’Kesh will be entertaining the guests.
Globacom will be empowering 20 lucky winners of a raffle draw with 10 tricycles and ten plasma television sets during the Festival.