THE Chairman, Globacom Limited, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr, has emphasised the need for parents to pass the cultural values of the Nigerian ethnic nations to their wards in order to preserve the tradition of unity and social cohesion taught by cultural events like the Ojude Oba festival.
Dr Adenuga, whose company, Globacom, has sponsored Ojude Oba Festival for the past 10 years as part of its Glo Heritage Series, said this in a goodwill message at the festival celebrated on Wednesday in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
He reiterated that unless parents took it upon themselves to propagate the values behind cultural events, the next generation may consider the festivals fetish or insignificant and thereby jettison them.
He disclosed that the theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Ojude Oba: Our culture, our pride’ succinctly captures the societal relevance of the festival within the current milieu and represents a common resolve to ensure that its essence is cascaded to the next generation as a source of pride and honour for the Ijebu race.
Represented at the event by the Commercial Coordinator, Business Enterprise, Mr Folu Aderibigbe, the business mogul and culture enthusiast recalled that “Over the years, Ojude Oba has remained not only a point of crystallisation and social re-engineering; it is as well an avenue for the constellation of ideas and initiatives that are geared towards prompting the growth of the society and the wellness of its people.”
He declared that unless the next generation understood the significance of the festival, it stood the risk of being relegated into oblivion, especially in the light of the growing penchant for Western cultures by the Nigerian youths.
According to him, Ojude Oba is also an exhibition platform to display the cultural wealth of the people and the values that unite them and has assumed the role of a social melting pot where all divergent issues affecting the lives of the people are processed, congealed and digested.
He said it also provided a platform where the sons and daughters of Ijebuland, both at home and abroad, are reminded of their collective responsibility as active players in the socio-economic growth of the geographical space known as Ijebuland.
The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, gave kudos to Globacom for its commitment to the promotion of cultures and traditions in Nigeria through its Heritage Series.
While giving kudos to Globacom for its consistent support for the festival which has been of immeasurable value to the rapidly growing stature of the event, Awujale further enthused that the Ijebus had played significant roles in the social, political and economic history of Nigeria.
Part of the exciting moments of the event was the Regberegbe Competition also sponsored by Globacom to reward the best dressed and best coordinated age grades in the male and female categories.
Egbe Bobagbimo Akile Ijebu was adjudged the best in the male category while Egbe Bobagunte and Egbe Jagunmolu came second and third respectively. In the female category, Egbe Gbobaniyi came top while Egbe Bobagunte and Egbe Bobamayegun came second and third, respectively.
Gaily dressed Ijebu sons and daughters paid homage to the Awujale during an impressive parade.