Abayomi Oyelami

After two years of being off the scene necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Ojude Oba Festival will hold next Tuesday 12th July, 2022. The royal celebration which is celebrated 3 days after the Eid-El-Kabir festival (popularly called ‘Ileya’ in Yoruba language) holds in Ijebu-ode, Ogun state, Nigeria.

A key component of the annual traditional festival is the unique cultural parade by various groups before the Awujale of Ijebuland. The current king is HRM Oba Sikiru Adetona. Each group such as Gbobaniyi, Arobayo, Bobakeye, Bobagbimo and so on is made up of illustrious Ijebu sons and daughters. Dressed in resplendent apparels, the Regberegbe dance gaily and perform other artistic displays in honour of the king. Another group, the Baloguns, bring out their cavalry to portray dexterity in mock battles reminiscent of their valiance and victories during the Yoruba internecine wars of pre-colonial Nigeria. The hues and colours on display are also second to none.

With the hotels in brisk business this weekend, high rate of travels both locally and internationally; sales of garments, jewelries, beads, and other ornaments; cows, rams, and other foods business at the peak; Ojude Oba Festival immensely contribute to the economy of Ijebu-ode, Ogun state, and Nigeria as a whole.

This year’s edition of the colourful traditional festival said to originate over 100 years ago is themed ‘Return of the Ojude Oba’. It will be graced by an estimated 1,000,000 attendees which will start trooping into Ijebu ode from all over the world from this weekend. They will be led by the Governor of Lagos state, Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu as the Special Guest of Honour.

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