On Saturday, culture and tradition enthusiasts descended on Ile-Ife, Osun state, to pay homage to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in honor of the 2021 annual Olojo festival.
Mr. Benedict Alabi, Deputy Governor of Osun State, led the state government’s entourage to the festival, which was joined by his Kogi State counterpart, Mr. Edward Onoja, who represented Governor Yahaya Bello.
Traditional rulers from various states in the Southwest and East flocked to the Ile-Oodua Palace, which hosted the grand finale.
Speaking on behalf of Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, Dep. Gov. Alabi stated that his administration will provide infrastructure to make Ile-Ife a global destination for cultural enthusiasts.
“This festival, which is celebrated on the day of the first dawn, emphasizes the location and significance of Ile-Ife to creation and humanity. As a result, we must all work together to celebrate it and give it its proper place.
“Our government promised last year that the Yoruba Museum and World Heritage Centre, the first of its kind, would be located in Ile-Ife.
“To that end, the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, led by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunmodede, have handed over the documents for the project’s land to me. Work on the project will begin shortly.
“When finished, the project will be a supporting tourism infrastructure for Yoruba pilgrimage at home and in the diaspora,” he said.
After receiving royal homage from the other Monarchs, Chiefs, and groups in attendance, the Ooni retreated into Emese Court and donned the Are crown to begin traditional rites.
Oba Adeyeye emerged from the court with the ancient crown and proceeded to Ile-Nla, the residence of previous Ooni’s, before proceeding to the palace gate, praying for the Yoruba race and the entire world.
The Ooni travels to Oke-Mogun with his messengers to meet with the custodian of the Ogun deity, who is described as the festival’s main character. At the shrine, the Ooni with the Osogun rotates seven times to represent the seven days of the week.
After completing the rites at Oke-Mogun, the monarch and his entourage traveled to Aje shrine before proceeding to Ejigbomekun, the first market in the ancient town, where the other 400 deities unanimously elected Oduduwa to lead the Yoruba race.
The market rites heralded the dawn of a new era for humanity as a whole.