Sons and daughters of Sagamu, the headquarters of Remoland, last Saturday, trooped out in large numbers to celebrate the 32nd edition of the Sagamu Day Celebration to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the people and to facilitate developmental projects for the growth of the community.
However, this year’s celebration, though memorable, was without the presence and royal blessings of the Akarigbo and Paramount ruler of Remoland, Oba (Dr) Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo, who joined his forebears on the 23rd of July, 2016 and it was dedicated to his memory for his immense contribution to the peaceful coexistence that exist among people of different tribes and ethnic groups residing in Sagamu and massive industrial growth and development recorded during his reign.
The three-day celebration took off with an inter-denominational service; a traditional visit to the Orisagamu Ewa Grove; cultural displays by different cultural groups; Ebiripo fiesta among others while royal fathers from Sagamu were led to the venue of the ceremony by the Acting chairman of Remo Traditional Council, the Elepe of Epe, Sagamu, Oba Adewale Osiberu, while the families of the Oba Sonariwo were also part of the event.
Members of different clubs and associations in Sagamu adorned themselves in beautiful traditional attires with different colours and designs of traditional Aso -Oke to match it. They were all full of praises to the late Akarigbo for his tenacity, doggedness and exemplary leadership in building Sagamu, during his 26th years reign on the throne of his forefathers. Both the young and old eulogized the revered traditional ruler.
Addressing the gathering at the palace of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Ita-Oba, the President of Sagamu Development Association (SDA), Professor Babatunde Ogunsanwo, described this year’s celebration as a unique one because of the numerous contributions and achievements of Oba Sonariwo, to Sagamuland in particular and the entire Remoland in general.
Ogunsanwo, who is the Aare Afimogboye of Irolu-Remo, said the reason why they decided to celebrate the departed monarch was because the late Oba Sonariwo, did his best for the growth and development of the town.
“I do have a great pleasure to stand with all humility to welcome you to the unique grand finale of the Sagamu Day 2016. Unique, not only in terms of the celebration of the immense contributions and achievements of Oba Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo, in his twenty-six year-reign as the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland,” he said.
In his own address to the gathering, the chairman, Dr. Soile, while eulogizing the late Akarigbo, said he (Oba Sonariwo) focused on unity and love amongst all, irrespective of tribes, and enjoined whoever succeeds him to uphold the vision.
Soile, who is the President, Sagamu Union, in the United Kingdom and the Bobagunwa of Remoland, described the late monarch as a wise, loving and amiable monarch with a lot of foresight and love , not just for Sagamu, but the entire Remoland.
Oba Osiberu in his short address also sued for peace, love and togetherness among all sons and daughters of Sagamu. The acting president took his time to enlighten the people of the difference between culture and tradition as regards the passage of Oba Sonariwo and the celebration of Sagamu Day.
He explained that the celebration of Sagamu Day has nothing to do with tradition but a matter of development and progress of the community, saying that the all traditional rite for the monarch were strictly observed.
“I want to say here that after having strictly observed all the traditional rites, after the passage of HRM Alayeluwa Oba Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo, we should not dishonour him by erroneously thinking we will honour him by skipping matters of the development of Sagamu town.
“The celebration of Sagamu Day has nothing to do with tradition , but rather a matter of development of Sagamu . However, traditions that do not conform with modern day ways of life must be jettisoned, “ Oba Osiberu added.
Also, Oba Osiberu, called on environmental officers in the council areas to ensure a good and hygienic environment, while appreciating the state House of Assembly for passing a bill on land grabbing, kidnapping and cultism into law asking Governor Ibikunle Amosun to as a matter of urgency append his signature for the law to take off.
Also, paying glowing tribute to the monarch, was the co-chairman of the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, Ambassador (Dr) Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu , who spoke on behalf of the Awolowo dynasty, said the late Akarigbo was generous to a fault.
She added that Oba Sonariwo was a fair and just man considering his role in the installation of Alakenne of Ikenne-Remo, saying that the late monarch supported her late mother, Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo, till her death.
“I stand here today, on behalf of the Awolowo dynasty, to pay tribute to the late Akarigbo. He was a generous man. He took great care of Mama while she was alive. To further demonstrated his generosity, he donated a parcel of land to Mama, on which a church was built in her name, when she hosted the Synod,” she said.