Few hours to the celebration of the Eid-el-Kabir and few days to the celebration of the annual “Ojude-Oba’’ Festival, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 23, enthusiasm is at a fever-pitch in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Socioeconomic activities in Ijebu-Ode where the “Ojude-Oba’’ Festival is celebrated annually have continued to witnesses positive spikes as one enters the ancient town.
Both the indigenes as well as visitors, tourists and dealers in souvenirs have begun to arrive the state for the annual carnival-like “Ojude-Oba’’ Festival which holds on Aug.23 with the theme: Ojude-Oba: Celebration of Rich Cultural Heritage.
The “Ojude-Oba’’ Festival is an annual reunion of sons and daughters of Ijebu-Ode, their in-laws, and invited guests usually held two days after the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Our reporters observed a beehive of activities by residents who had their rams and other livestock tied within their compounds for the celebrations of both festivals.
Also, it was observed that hotels in the town and its environs had been fully booked while operators of outdoor bars, tricycles, motorcycles and relaxation spots had begun to count their gains.
Ijebu-Ode, a town predominantly occupied by Muslims, comes alive every Eid-el-Kabir alongside the age-old “Ojude-Oba’’, which is celebrated to honour the Awujale of Ijebuland.
Several corporate organisations had displayed their advert billboards as a way of participating in the celebration of the two festivals.
Ishola Fatungase, a resident of the town and a paint dealer, said that they were looking forward to a memorable celebration of the “Ojude-Oba’’ Festival.
He, however, appealed to the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), in charge of power distribution in the area, to make the event memorable through uninterrupted power supply.
“The icing on the cake for us will be full-scale-power supply throughout the period of the sallah to make it lively for us as well as being able to preserve our drinks and consumables.
“For me as a Muslim, it is the only time of the year I get to see most of my family members as they are located in different parts of the country and outside the country,” he said.
Another respondent, Gbenga Otukoya, a civil servant, lamented the high cost of rams this year as compared to the same period last year.
“I just returned from Imowo Eleran market, where livestock is considerably sold cheaply. Yet, I could not afford the type of ram I wanted due to the high price.
“A medium-sized ram, sold last year for N60, 000 is now N85, 000 at the market, while cows sell for between N120, 000 and N180, 000 or even higher depending on the quality.