The excitement that greeted the days leading to the Grand Finale of Akesan Day 2021 was palpable. For the 1st time in 3 decades, Iperu Sons & Daughters were unable to celebrate this annual cultural event in 2020 due to COVID-19. 10 weeks ago, Iperu had successfully hosted people from all walks of life as its most executive son, Governor Dapo Abiodun & his family bid farewell to their Patriach, Dr. Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun. The present Custodian of the Akesan heritage, Alayeluwa Oba Adeleke Idowu Basibo(Apekun’Joye Odoru V) is bracing up to roll out the drums in celebration of 20years on the throne of his forefathers. These & many more were good reasons to celebrate & “Ijebu” people do know how to celebrate.
November 27, 2021 was about Culture, Heritage, Origin, Ancestry. It was the day formidable political forces put politics aside to gather in the same space in memorial of Iperu’s progenitor, AKESAN. In the center of it all is the vibrant Monarch who is the traditional & cultural representative of Iperu’s history in this 21st century. Oba Adeleke Idowu Basibo(Alaperu of Iperu Akesan) has held the mantle of leadership of the prolific town for the past 2 decades. To be candid, he has not done badly at all. The Iperu that was in 2002 is not the Iperu that is, going into 2022. His developmental strides are visible to all & sundry. 20 years is long enough to have mastered the art & science of any game. Apekun’Joye Odoru V has paid his dues on the throne of Akesan Baale Oja.
Various activities leading to the Finale were clear indications that the 35th edition of this festival would be one for the books. The Ankara for this year’s event had permeated every nook & cranny of the town. Members of Iperu Descendants Association(UK) arrived to ensure that their Health Centre project to the community was completed in time for commissioning. And because Governor Dapo Abiodun does not leave any stone unturned in preparation for his hometown’s festival, government functionaries were on ground days before to set up for the event.
Lo & behold, the big day dawned & the mood of the whole community lived up to the electric atmosphere anticipated. Men, Women, Young, Old, Social Clubs, Cultural Associations etc tropped into Kesington Adebutu Civic Centre early enough. It was a celebration of Progress, Excellence, Leadership, Growth, Development, Oneness, Community all day long. Guests that graced the occasion included Ogun State Governor – Prince Dapo Abiodun(MFR), Deputy Governor (Engr.) Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Chairman/CEO, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Ltd – Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isa(Chairman of the Occassion), Former Ogun State Deputy Governor – Alhaji Salmat Badru, Akarigbo of Remoland – Oba Babatunde Ajayi(FCA) who led an entourage of Remo Obas, Olota of Otta/Awori Kingdom – Oba (Prof.) Adeyemi Obalanlege(Ph.D), Hon. Ladi Adebutu, Chairman, Ogun Free Trade Zone – Mr Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, Bobasua(Sooko-designate) of Iperu – Otunba Yemi Lawal & wife – Princess Ayotunde Lawal, Veteran Broadcaster – Prince Bisi Olatilo, Media Guru & Iperu Daughter – Mrs Modele Sarafa-Yusuf to mention a few.
As we look forward to next year’s celebration, we are sure of the following in Iperu in the coming months :
- Fully functional Agro-Cargo Airport
- National Automobile Training Centre
- Integrated Farms Centre
- Dualized road networks along Sagamu/Iperu & Ilishan/Iperu axis.
- SDG-driven 100-bed hospital hosted in the agro-processing zone.
Most definitely, Akesan looked down on Saturday & beamed with smile at the town she settled in(with her husband – Ajagbe) & named “IPERU”, centuries ago. It is a great time to be an “Omo Akesan”. And greater times lie ahead!
AKESAN A GBE WA!
Written by :
Omoba Bola Basibo(MBA)
Chiefspokesperson, Alaperu of Iperu
Visionary – #IperuTourism
Convener, Iperu Millennials Network
Visionary/Founder/EVC, The Sales Brothers.