Hon. Rotimi Makinde
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The Olojo festival is significant to Ile – Ife and indeed all the Yorubaland , where Ogun is worshipped.

According to the Director General of the Office of Economic Development and Partnerships ( OEDP ) , Dr. Charles ‘ Diji Akinola ,
“Olojo is one of the oldest festivals in Ife. It is a celebration of life, the mark of the beginning of New Dawn all over Yorubaland in honour of the beginning of life itself and also Ogun , the god of iron .
He disclosed that the Ooni is the custodian of this greatest festival, for, Ooni is the Arole of oodua and the only living mortal among the 201 of his peers.

As a way of promoting tourism and showcasing our culture, the Ifes and by extension adopted the uniqueness of the day to celebrate Olojo as a mark of respect for our Creature.

The festival is as old as the cradle of Yoruba race itself and it is the only day the Ooni is sighted with the very crown wore by Oduduwa, the progenitor himself.

Akinola noted that the festival would be rebranded , presented in modern form to reinforce the notion of Ife as a foremost cultural and tourism centre .

Speaking in the same veins, Hon. Rotimi Makinde, a former member of the House of Representatives said Olojo festival, no doubt, should be regarded as the greatest festival in the history of Yoruba land, This is the greatest festival being celebrated on behalf of all Yoruba people in ile-Ife being the origin of Yoruba Land. It is a statement of fact that from Ife, our great fore fathers founded other great kingdoms.

Oranmiyan for instance was a son to Oduduwa, he founded Oyo kingdom and at the later part of his life he returned to ile-Ife where he is today being worshipped. Ife has lots of tourism potentials such as Moremi statue, the tallest in the whole of Africa, Oduduwa shrine, Yemoo shrine and many others.

Undoubtedly, the olojo Festival although celebrated in ife, the cradle of Yoruba race is expected to be a great place where all sons and daughters of Yoruba land are expected to express their love, affection by identifying with Ooni Of Ife as a mark of respect.

It should also serve as a celebrated occasion where all Yoruba monarchs must demonstrate their love to the Aroole Oduduwa.

Expectedly, all governors of the Yoruba speaking states, Governor Ibikunle Amosun Ogun, Governor Aregbesola of Osun, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Governor Isiaka Ajimobi of Oyo, and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos states are all expected to visit Ife, Oonirisa.

But as it was, reverse has been the case over the years only because we allow politics to divide us further and we allowed our religious beliefs to clash with our culture, it is very sad according to Hon Rotimi Makinde.

Citing the example of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca , Jerusalem and Rome, which are distinct economies that sustains these countries , Akinola said , “beyond cultural projection , there is abundant economic imperative of tourism . We can build a thriving economy around our culture and monuments .”
He stated that the festival alone is enough to give Osun State a buoyant economy, make her one of the richest states in the country .

“We can tap into the Yoruba Diaspora population, make them to come to Ife on yearly pilgrimage for, it is believed that prayers offered by Ooni with the ancient Aare (crown) of oodua on him is always positive.

There are at least 12 monuments and sites in Ile -Ife that are of international standard. These monuments centers includes : National Museum , Oodua’s Palace, Enuwa Area, Agbonniregun Temple, Oduduwa Shrine, Oluorogbo, Oranmiyan Staff, Moremi  (the tallest in Africa), Baba Sigidi, Opa Oranmiyan , Zoological Garden at Obafemi Awolowo University Campus, Igbo- Olokun Shrine ,Yemoo and others .”
“I would love to see the next Olojo festival hosting the likes of Alaafin of Oyo, Orangun of ILA, Oba of Lagos and other Yoruba Obas and all our governors in attendance at least it will signal the unity we all pray for, if only we are serious about forging ahead as a race”. Makinde said.

It is however very ironical to observe that only a governor (Muslim) from far away North (Gombe State) Gov Ibrahim Hassan Dankwanbo appeared in person and identified with our cultural heritage.




www.sojworld.com (c) October 4, 2017.


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