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Vice President Shettima, Gov Abiodun, Others For Ojude Oba Festival

Vice President Kashim Shettima, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, and the Minister of Culture, Art, and Creative Economy, Barrister Hannatu Musa-Musawa, among others, are expected to lead other eminent individuals and tourists to this year’s Ojude Oba Festival.

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 at Awujale’s pavilion.

This year’s edition will be held on Tuesday, 18th of June.

The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, is the chief host of this colourful event, during which over 100 age-grade groups of males and females (Regberegbes), decked in resplendent attire, pay annual homage to the traditional ruler.

Speaking during a press briefing held on Tuesday at the Heritage Hall of Awujale’s palace, the Chairman of the Planning Committee for this year’s festival, Chief Olu Okuboyejo, described the annual festival as a gift of the Ijebu nation to Nigeria and the rest of the world, being an outstanding model in religious tolerance, coexistence, and harmony.

Okuboyejo said that the theme of this year’s celebration is “Ojude Oba: Unity and Harmony, Our Gift.”

The Chairman explained that “the theme is predicated on the relentless emphasis and unique characteristics of the festival that have earned the Ijebus so much acclaim in the promotion of sustainable unity, concord, peace, and harmony among the Ijebu populace.

“Existence of harmony among people of diverse backgrounds plays a pivotal role in the growth and development of any society. It provides a viable basis and clear roadmap for social transformation, cultural liberty, and economic prosperity to thrive limitlessly.”

He said that, as is tradition for the annual festival, Vice President Kashim Shettima has been chosen as the distinguished Nigerian guest of honour for this year’s celebrations.

Okuboyejo said, “The Festival Committee is pleased to inform you that we expect to host the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Senator Kashim Shettima, as the Special Guest of Honour, alongside the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and his amiable consort, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun.

“We are also expecting the attendance of the Honourable Minister of Culture, Art, and the Creative Economy, Barrister Hannatu Musa-Musawa, among others.”

Speaking on the essence of the celebration, Okuboyejo said that the annual festival is not only about the flamboyant parade of culture and tradition by Ijebu sons and daughters, who usually appear in their magnificent cultural attire.

He disclosed that the festival also provides the Ijebu people and visitors the opportunity to supplicate to the Almighty God, take stock of their activities, embark on self-help projects, and reunify with family members and acquaintances.

Okuboyejo said the festival equally boosts commerce and trade in its entirety, as commercial and trading activities are at their peak before, during, and immediately after the festival, saying that the festival touches every sphere of life in Ijebuland and its environs.

Speaking during the briefing, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Sesan Fagbayi, described the annual festival as a unique forum for mobilizing the convergence of Ijebu sons and daughters for the socio-economic development of Ijebuland, Ogun State, and the nation at large.

Fagbayi said that the state government will always support the hosting of the festival because it has, over the years, fostered the promotion of unity among the indigenes of the state and all stakeholders, as well as promoting the tourism and cultural value chain of Nigeria to the outside world.

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