The entire city of Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State came to full life on the 3rd day of the Ileya Festival. It was a historic date as sons and daughters of the community clustered at the palace of His Royal Majesty Aleyeluwa Oba Lawrence Jaiyeoba Adebajo, the Orimolusi of Ijebu-Igbo. He was the Chief Host.
Coming together to celebrate Ojude Oba in a single location after a long while is a thing of joy to the indigenes. This was not hidden on their faces as they all trooped out to enjoy the glamour of the day. Indeed, His Royal Highness, Oba Adebajo, the new Orimolusi is the reason behind the joyful festival.
Ijebu Igbo is a prominent town which stands tall among its peers in Ogun State, South West and Nigeria at large. It boasts quite expansive arable land with lots of mineral resources in it. Ijebu Igbo accommodates 5 kingdoms of over 200 villages.
The Glitz and Glamour of the day were very close to that of the Awujale’s Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu Ode. The Ijebu Igbo version of the annual ceremony was given a unique title; “Orimolusi Ojude Oba Festival”. It is a name very dear to the Ijebu Igbo people.
The festival was largely attended by prominent sons and daughters of Ijebu-Igbo. Their presence at the event didn’t go unnoticed as they were physically present to pay homage and celebrate with the Orimolusi who ascended the throne of his forefathers a few months ago. City People was at Ijebu Igbo to cover the eventful festival. We hereby bring to you details of how the event went.
THE UNIQUENESS OF ORIMOLUSI OJUDE OBA
It was the first of its kind in Ijebu Igbo. For about 4 years, different kingdoms under Ijebu Igbo have been holding the Ojude Oba Festival separately and it was always fun. But this time around, there was a total synergy between the kingdoms as they deemed it fit to come together as an indivisible entity under the newly installed Orimolusi to put up top-notch and talk of town Ojude Oba. They took the festival to the palace of the highly revered King, His Royal Majesty Aleyeluwa Oba Lawrence Jaiyeoba Adebajo as a mark of respect and sign of loyalty of their kingdoms to the great Orimolusi, the paramount ruler of Ijebu-Igbo.
The Orimolusi Ojude Oba festival has begun on a very bright note. It would subsequently be held on the 3rd day of the Ileya Festival when the Muslim faithful would be capping up their biggest celebration with such a glamorous gathering. The Ojude Oba festival transcends religious barriers and sentiments as it’s been observed across the Ijebu land. It usually has indigenes and lovers of the annual festival flood the town from across the globe to pay homage to their esteemed kings as well as see how best to develop the communities. During this period the economy of Ijebu grew geometrically.
BIT BY BIT ACCOUNT OF THE FESTIVAL
This year’s celebration was held at the Orimolusi Palace Ground with the theme; Ijebu-Igbo: Fulfilling the Dreams of Our Progenitors. It was well attended by top dignitaries that travelled from far and near to be actively involved in the highly colourful occasion.
Starting the eventful day were the activities of the Muslim Community of the land which was spearheaded by the Chief Imam of Ijebu Igbo, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Issa fondly called Ekuaniya). They held a special prayer for the land after which they admonished the king and the people of the community at large.
Worthy of note among activities that marked the occasion is the much-anticipated parade by over 20 fully recognized age grade groups popularly called the Regberegbes in paying homage to the Alayeluwa, Oba Adebajo. Their procession and parade at the instance of the key were glamorous and very colourful.
Also paying homage to the king are many prominent and highly influential organizations, groups and associations in the land. Meanwhile, official partners of the occasion had their parade in front of the king.
Other activities marking the day were a prize presentation to the winner of Miss Ojude Oba Orimolusi and the 3 outstanding age grade groups both male and female at the occasion. This was followed by party galore as each group entertained themselves and had fun for the rest of the day. Among notable top musicians that entertained guests is the legendary Juju Musician, Wale Thompson.
TOP DIGNITARIES THAT SPOKE AT THE EVENT
The ceremony was marked by several presentations of speeches and addresses. The welcome speech was delivered by the chairman, Organising Committee and Chairman, Ijebu Igbo Regberegbe in Council, Otunba Babatunde Ganiyu after which the Chairman of the occasion, Otunba Femi Dinah gave his speech.
Also delivering a remarkable and highly inspiring speech was a prominent politician and leader in Ijebu Igbo, Senator Sefiu Adegbenga Kaka. He stressed the need to support the king in every way to enhance the advancement of Ijebu Igbo.
Deputy Minority Whip House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable AbdulMajid Adekoya Adesegun aka Attacker was among the dignitaries that addressed the people. During the speech, he felicitated the king and his subjects on the occasion after which he acknowledged the greatness of Ijebu Igbo in Ogun state in terms of land mass and its endowment with resources. Meanwhile, he pledged to support the development drive of the community. Senator Lekan Mustapha (SLM) also gave a warm remark about the event as he congratulated the king just like others had done. Kabiesi eventually delivered a goodwill message to the massive crowd.
SITTING UNDER THE WELL-ARRANGED CANOPIES
The festival was held on an open field in the very spacious palace square. There were quite a number of canopies erected at the venue of the event. Each of them was filled to capacity. Despite the heavy downpour of rain, the people came out en masse to witness the festival. Sitting under each canopy are top dignitaries, members of the age grade groups and their guests. The main canopy was a mighty one. It housed the Orimolusi with the kings of the 5 kingdoms under Ijebu Igbo. They are Oba Mufutau Adesesan Yusuf, the Sopen Lakalu of Oke-Sopen; Oba Abayomi Olusesan Banjo, Olokinne of Ojowo; Oba Ibitoye Solaja, Keegb of Atikoro; Oba Stephen Adeleke Adekoya, Bejeroju of Oke Agbo; and Oba Adewale Aderemiogunye, Abijaparako of Japara. Top personalities like Senator Adegbenga Kaka, Otunba Femi Dinah, Senator Lekan Mustapha (SLM), Honourable Abdulmajid Adekoya Adesegun and quite a number of others. There was another special tenth for the high-ranking chiefs across the villages that made up Ijebu Igbo. After this is the canopies which accommodated the very 20-age grade groups not leaving out some social clubs and associations like that of the hides and skin Pomo dealers, women clubs, and other community-based groups. They all had fun under their respective canopies.
MEET THE REGBEREGBE AGE GRADE GROUPS THAT SPICED UP THE FESTIVAL
They are 24 organized and recognized Regberegbe groups in Ijebu Igbo. They all trooped out in their huge numbers, dressed in their various lovely and well-styled attires, their presence at the festival added lots of spice which made it remarkable. These groups include: Egbe Bobajolu, Egbe Obafuwaji, Egbe Bobagbimo, Egbe Bobakeye Okunrin Agba Olorire, Egbe Boakeye Olooto, Egbe Mayegun Akile Ijebu, Egbe Bobagunte Agba, Egbe Bobagunte Majeobaje, Egbe Bobagunte Mayegun, Egbe Bobagunte Orimolusi Obinrin, Egbe Gbobaniyi Asiwaju Orire, Egbe Gbobaniyi Ibile Okorokoro, Egbe Jagunmolu Asiwaju, Egbe Jagunmolu Orimolusi, Egbe Jagunmolu Alalubarika, Egbe Jagunmolu Alalubarika Original, Egbe Arobayo Asiwaju, Egbe Arobayo Okunrin Ati Obinrin Akile Ijebu-Igbo, Egbe Tobalase Asiwaju, Egbe Bobamayegun Orimolusi, Egbe Bobagunwa, Egbe Bobadega, and Egbe Tobalase Orimolusi.
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