•To Allow For Social Distancing
Lately, many people have been wondering if the 2020 Ojude Oba will hold or not in a few weeks time. Since the COVID-19 pandemic happened many Ijebu people have been wondering if the event will be cancelled or not because of the huge gathering of people that the event will attract.
We can tell you authoritatively that this year’s Ojude Oba will hold as scheduled, but it will be by Virtual Technology. The plan in conjunction with the Major Sponsor, Globacom involves using technology to drive the festival, if COVID-19 won’t allow physical congregation.
The Technical details we hear are being worked out.
An insider revealed that the Ojude Oba Planning Committee is closely monitoring developments and planning assiduously to cope with the details of the present or emerging scenario.
Discussion is on with Glo to hold a Virtual Ojude Oba. So, we can tell you authoritatively that this colourful cultural event will hold in style “On-line”.
But is it possible to have such a colourful historical event on-line and it won’t affect all the paparazzi and side attractions? Of course Yes.
According to our findings the 2020 Ojude Oba will not be devoid of all it’s side attractions but everything will just be done online due to the large number of Ijebu sons and daughters who always convege at the Awujale’s Palace to pay homage to the King at Ojude Oba.
No fewer than 10,000 sons and daughters of Ijebuland assemble every year, 3-days after Ileya festival to greet Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona. The event which plays host to Governor of the state, Governors from other states and top politicians and Obas from Ogun and other states is one event many Ijebu sons and daughters look forward to yearly.
The planning takes exactly 12 months and even those in diaspora use rhe opportunity to re-conmect with their old friends and families. Many Ijebu sons who have also formed themselves into various age groups and grades (Regberegbe) also use the opportunity to catch up with latest happenings in their town in the last 1 year.
The event also shoots up the social and economic activities of Ijeubu Ode and its environs where the event will hold. All hotels are usually booked ahead becuase of the high influx of guests who always come to witness the historical cultural event.
Now, the question is: which form is the Ojude Oba 2020 going to take? Well City People investigation reveals that only the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and other committee members will be allowed into the Arena. Some of those who will be allowed in would have met the rules guarding COVID-19. They will be top dignitaries and they will all wear masks.
They will not be more than 50.
The social distancing regulations will strictly be adhered to. One of the sons of the soil, Otunba Michael Adenuga, the Chairman of Glo will make all the gadgets possible. This doesn’t come strange to many Ijebu sons and daughters, he has been one of the major financiers of the event over the years.
What about all the snacks, food always provided by foods boss? Well, Alhaji Adegunwa will also make sure all the Regberegbes get that before the D-day. This is to reduce body to body contacts to the minimum.
But this year will come with a bang. Glo will mount all the facilities to make the event possible. Free WiFi, Satellites will be mounted and electronic device which allow Awujale and the whole committee access all the Regberegbes at their various strategic locations will also be done.
Don’t forget Ijebus don’t do things in small measure.
They will parade themselves when they are called. They will check their orderliness, their attire among many others. The horse parade will also take place. Various horse riders will also showcase their stuff while many well wishers will watch. There will be large screens mounted at various nooks and crannies of Ijebu-Ode to make it grand.
Of course only Nigeria’s number 1 indigenous company like Glo can make these happen. We learnt the network provider will never allow this indigenous yearly program go unnoticed. If cancelled, it will be the first time that will be done in the history of Nigeria.
Yes, they wont be at the same location this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and abide by it rules. They will also arrange their venue like a stadium. They will also be able to view the stadium from the large screen which would have been mounted at the over 40 age grade locations.
Ask an Ijebu man if he is going for Ojude Oba, the likely reposnse you will get is “ni gba ti mi o ku”(when I am not dead). A typical ijebu man believes nothing should debar him from being at the yearly Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode.
The famous festival started out in 1892, when the then Oba Adesumbo Tunwase offered landed properties to the Muslims for a Mosque to be built. He also offered the British missionaries the opportunity to preach Christianity in Ijebuland as well as the land where St Saviours Italupe, the first church in Ijebu was built.
Ojude Oba Festival started as a religious festival, when a small number of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion chose to pay homage and show appreciation to the reigning Monarch for his kind gesture and benevolence to them. However, the festival has transcended religious lines today and it attracts people of all faiths as well as tourists from within and outside Nigeria. On the day of the event, various peers and age groups come in festive attires to pay tribute to the king after which the festival continues with various forms of entertainment.
Which Regberegbe or age-grade do people look forward to seeing in their full regalia with their Iya Egbe, Giwa, Iyalode to mention few? They are the following:
Egbe Tobalase Obinrin (Iyalode Bolanle Kuforiji, Egbe Tobalase Obalofin (Iyalode Sade KASALI), Egbe Bobamayegun Ounrin (Giwa Omoba Adeyemi), Egbe Bobamayegun Asiwaju Obirin (Iyalode Kemi Ariyo), Egbe Tobalase Okunrin Akile Ijebu (Giwa Alausa Abiola), Egbe Bobagbimo Obinrin (Iyalode Kikelomo Odutayo), Egbe Bobamayegun Okunrin (Giwa Odufemi Okenla), Egbe Tobalase Obinrin Rontex (Iyalode Olayinka Olowoporoku), Egbe Bobamayegun Obinrin Diamond (Iyalode Islamiyat Sowami), Egbe Bobayo Okunrin Akile Ijebu (Giwa Bosun Oke), Egbe Obafuinwaji Obinrin (Iyalode Bolanle Mosurat), Egbe Obafuwaji Adedoyin Obinrin (Iyalode Oluwatoyin Ayanbadejo), Egbe Bobagbimo Okunrin Akile Ijebu (Giwa Ayodeji Osibogun), Egbe Obafuwaji Okunrin (Giwa ALHAJI Olasupo), Egbe Bokeye obinrin Surakat (Iyalode Omolara ODUEKU) Egbe Oluwagbadebo Okunrin Akile Ijebu (Giwa Odutayo Mushafau), Egbe Bobajolu Obinrin Akile Ijebu Original (Iyalode Oyinade Adekoya), Egbe Bobajolu Obinrin Basiri Akinle Ijebu (Iyalode Princess Adetona, Oba Sikiru Adetona Younger sister) among many others.
– Abiola Orisile