Odun Oba unites Ikere indigenes

The Ogoga, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado watching proceedings.

Ikere-Ekiti, headquarters of Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State stood still recently. It was the celebration of “Odun Oba 2017” by the Ogoga, Oba Samuel Adejimi Adu Alagbado, Agirilala II. The celebration had brought sons and daughters, friends and well wishers of Ikere to the community to rejoice with the traditional ruler as he celebrates the new year.

The festival, hitherto known as “Ijeshu Oba” was given the new nomenclature by the Ogoga, and the 2017 edition was named “Odun Oba.” Explaining the new name, Oba Adu said “the hitherto Ijesu Oba is a congregation of many memorable cultural and traditional events of our heritage.”

According to the foremost traditional ruler, “it includes the following: Ogun Oye, Idijo Ijesu Oba, Osanyin Akinla, Amudankuwo, Eobeo Ree, Iduge, Upekele Ayaba, Olosunta, Momokile Idupe Isu Oba and Ogun.” He further explained that, “that the above were embedded in the festival is the reason we have rechristened it the Odun Oba and it is so named and known.”

Thus, while the celebration remains the same in essence, the nomenclature changed by the decree of the king. And thus, e people celebrated Odun Oba. The celebration incorporated, among other things, homage to the king by registered Traditoonal, social and cultural groups of Ikere people within and outside the state. Non-indigenous cultural groups from Igbo, Hausa, Igala, Ebira, Edo and others were also not left out.

Highlights included homage by the Oloris in the palace. Their colourful procession, led by the Eyesorun, with ancient drums and paraphernalia, and singing, were a beautiful spectacle. The Oloris, led by Eyesorun Funmilola Adejimi Adu did a good job of their outing. They thrilled the king and the large, beautiful audience of gaily-dressed people, who had gathered at the Ogoga palace grounds.

Ikere hunters, Ikere Shaman, explained as “babalawos/traditional medicine practitioners; Ibedo age group, Osaka age group, Iyalola, Iyalodes and their ilk, including women traders  and artisans; Ikere honourary chiefs, Obinrin Ile Chief, led by the Esemore; Agbado P chiefs, Oyo chiefs, Iluomoba chiefs, Are chiefs, Afao chiefs, Otu Elegbe, Otu Ologotun, Otu Sao, Otu Sapetu and others were not left out. They all took their turn to greet the monarch for the new year.

The response of the Ogoga came as his royal blessing of his people. The highlight was the royal dance, described as “Aba Me Hin Jo o”. Indeed, the dance of the king wrapped the formalities for the day. But indeed the celebration continued with the merry-making of the people, their friends and the well-wishers.

Oba Adu used the opportunity if the occasion to call on politicians in his domain to keep the interest of Ikere-Ekiti as top of their priorities and shun all forms of bitterness in their dealing with one another.

Oba Adu said of the Odun Oba with the theme: “Raising the Bar Higher”, “we continue to give glory to God that despite the machinations of those tiny evil group, who think they can through lies and propaganda disrupt  the peace of this kingdom in their delusional devilish plot to rewrite our history, they continue to fail, they continue to bring ridicule to their own heads.”

A cross-section of Ikere traditional chiefs at the Odun Oba festival.

In his welcome address, chairman of the “Odun Oba Planning Committee”, Otunba Sola Adewumi, said the day was set aside by their forefathers to display the rich culture of Ikere kingdom and pay homage to the king, adding that “this is the grand finale of all Ikere annual festivals.”

He noted that Ikere-Ekiti was witnessing the birth of “Odun Oba” which is the rebranded “ Idupe Oba” inherited from their ancestors, pointing out that the events will tell about the extraordinary nature of Ikere kingdom, their societies, accomplishments and historic contributions.

Adewumi said history was being made in Ikere kingdom with the birthing of Odu Oba Festival.

Among the numerous dignitaries at the event included the Atta of Ayede, Oba Abdul Mumuni Orisagbemi, the Eyesorun of Ado-Ekiti, Olorin Bosede Adejugbe, Chief Ransom  Olorinfemi, Chief Dimeji Isiaka, Mrs. Chinyere Ogunsakin, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN).

The speeches done, there were colourful, traditional and cultural displays which included children’s cultural carnival; displays by age groups, traditional chiefs and priests and more. The over 43 registered clubs and associations in Ikere town, made the Odun Oba 2017 memorable.

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