Ikere-Ekiti Celebrates Odun Oba Festival and Ogoga’s 7th Year on the Throne

Ikere-Ekiti Celebrates Odun Oba Festival and Ogoga’s 7th Year on the Throne
July 6, 2023 Ogoga
In News and Media, PALACE JOURNAL
Ogoga of Ikere

The people of Ikere-Ekiti, a town in Ekiti State, Nigeria, came together on Saturday, August 6, to celebrate their annual Odun Oba Festival and the 7th year anniversary of their king, the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Adejimi Adu Alagbado, Agirilala Ogbenuotesoro II.

The festival, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the town and its people, has become a platform for rallying support for the development of the community and honouring its distinguished sons and daughters.

The event, which took place at the palace’s open courtyard, was attended by a large crowd of indigenes and non-indigenes, as well as royal fathers from other Ekiti kingdoms.

The highlight of the festival was the grand entrance of the Ogoga and his beautiful Olori (queen), who sat on the throne amid cheers and applause from the audience.

The event started with the singing of the Ikere Anthem, followed by an opening prayer from both Christian and Muslim clerics.

A welcome address was delivered by Otunba Sola Adewumi, the chairman of the planning committee.

Various groups then paid homage to the Ogoga in a colourful display of dances, songs, costumes and praises.

The children in multicolour costumes were the first group to come out. They rendered Kabiyesi’s oriki (praise names) and praises.

The next group to pay homage was the non-indigenes who dressed in their respective traditional attire. The Igbira tribe from Kogi State was the first group that came out with a delightful display. The Urobos, Igedes, Edos followed the Igbiras with good performance in that order.

Next was the turn of registered societies and clubs in Ikere Kingdom to pay homage. They came in groups, dressed in Aso Ebi (uniform fabric) and paid homage to Kabiyesi.

Next were the hunters, as usual, their performance spoke about how they operate while hunting.

Then the Ibedo and Osaka age groups were next. Gunshots salutations were rendered, and the Ibedos and Osaka came out to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Next were the honourary chiefs, SCIY (Sons and Daughters of Ikere in Yorubaland) and IDF (Ikere Development Forum); Otunba Sola Adewumi led honourary chiefs (Bashorun, Bobagunwa, Yeye Bashorun, Yeye Bobagunwa, Otun Eyesorun etc) and Akin Afuye led SCIY (Engr Tunde Awe, Tope Ariyo, Emmanuel Amuda, Bade Afuye) while Bashorun Tunde Ogunsakin (AIG Rtd) led IDF members (Barrister Ola Alonge, Engr. Emmanuel Ogunremi, Mrs Yemisi Adefarati, Dr Damilola Olajide etc) to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

The Iyalojas (market women leaders), Iyalajes (market women elders) and Iyalodes (women leaders) were the next to pay homage.

The wives of Ikere traditional chiefs were led by Anasin Sapetu to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Next was princes (Omo Owas) led by Seyi Ogoji danced to the palace to pay homage to the Ogoga.

Next was princesses (Omo Owas) led by Deputy Governor-Elect, Monisade Afuye to pay homage to the Ogoga.

Next was the Oloris, the reigning queen, the Eyesorun of Ikere, Olori Olufunmilola Ololade Adejimi Adu, led other palace queens in a colourful dance on their way to pay special homage to the Ogoga. The Ikarakara drums (royal drums) were brought out, the Oloris took over the beating of Ikarakara drums, it was amazing as they (Oloris) beat the drums and danced to Kabiyesi. They also chanted his orikis as they know many names of Kabiyesi.

The Obirin Ile (female chiefs) were the next; they were led by Eyesemore to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Then came the chiefs from the Ilumoba, Agbado, Are and Afao quarters; they were led by their respective quarter heads.

Next were the chiefs from the Oyo quarter; they were led by Baale Oyo, Ikere Ekiti; they came with their big Sekere and Gangan drums to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Here now came the Otu Elegbes (warriors). They danced to Kabiyesi in a warlike gesture to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Next was the Otu Ologotun (Odo Oja quarter chiefs). They were led by High Chief E Ayeni, Ologotun Odo Oja, Ikere Ekiti; they danced to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Next was the Otu Sao (Uro quarter chiefs). They were led by High Chief Kayode Omodara, Sao Uro, Ikere Ekiti; they danced to pay homage to Kabiyesi.

Next was the Otu Sapetu (Okekere quarter chiefs). They were led by High Chief Babatola Olufemi, Sapetu Okekere, Ikere Ekiti; they danced to pay homage to Kabiyesi. High Chief Sapetu later presented a white calabash to Kabiyesi in the traditional way after dancing round the palace Adodo (pole) three times.

It was a celebration of class, colour, pomp and ceremony which the appreciative residents savoured to the fullest while it lasted.

Originally christened Odun Ijesu (New Yam Festival), the festival has grown to be an avenue not only to celebrate the agricultural fertility of the land but also to reason together and work out modalities on how to develop their town.

Leading the personalities who attended this year’s Odun Oba was the Deputy Governor-elect of Ekiti State, Mrs Monisade Afuye, who is also a Princess of the town.

Others in attendance included an illustrious son of the community; retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Chief Tunde Ogunsakin; the Otunba of Ikere and oil magnate, Otunba Sola Adewumi and Otun Eyesorun of Ikere, Chief Oluwakemi Sola-Adewumi; the Bobagunwa of Ikere, Chief Dimeji Isiaka.

The icing on the cake was the homage paid to the Ogoga, whom they acknowledged as the paramount ruler and prescribed authority over the kingdom and its environs and who is also one of the most respected monarchs, not only in Ekiti State but also in Yoruba land.

The Ogoga, who was colourfully dressed in a richly embroidered agbada with his conical-shaped crown on his head, intermittently waved his horsetail (irukere) to his subjects to acknowledge their homages.

One of the features of the Odun Oba was the parade of the crowns worn by the Ogoga and other paraphernalia of his office which confer prestige on his throne.

The Ogoga had every cause to rejoice because his ascension to the throne has been a harbinger of good fortunes to Ikere. He single-handedly built an eye-catching modern palace which has become a tourist attraction within and outside Ekiti.

The Ikere king has attracted more corporate organisations that have established their presence in the town, thereby boosting its economy and creating jobs for the teeming youths. But like Oliver Twist, the Ogoga is yearning for more, which explains why he is calling on his subjects and non-indigenes from within and outside Nigeria to invest in his domain.

A native of the town that came from London, United Kingdom for the Odun Oba and was honoured as Iyalaje of Ikere Kingdom, Princess Sayo Adenle, said Odun Oba has become a rallying point for all well-meaning sons and daughters to lift their community to greater heights.

Princess Adenle said: “Odun Oba represents a veritable platform through which we contribute to the development of Ikere. The town is witnessing progress. We should all rally round our revered king, the Ogoga, to continue this good work. We will work hard to make Odun Oba an internationally- recognised tourists’ attraction.

“I was here last year and I am here again. We will continue to work harder to ensure the development of Ikere. I want to call on all Ikere sons and daughters to come together and contribute our quota to lift our town and develop it in all spheres of life.”

Sola Adewunmi said: “Let us pursue Ikere’s progress with joint efforts. Those who assist the town will continue to be specially recognised and honoured.

Speaking on behalf of IDF, Mr. Femi Ekundayo said: “We take pride in the heritage of our forebears, especially in the fact that we were never defeated or conquered in wars. We appreciate the Ogoga for the rare privilege given to the IDF to reconcile parties disturbed by age-long rivalries.

“Our report will soon be ready and its tone is positive.”

Isiaka said: “The cultural value is very important, especially for the younger generations to understand our culture and get to know where we are coming from; the beginning in terms of our values and behavioural patterns. The turnout at the festival is very impressive. We do not have security issues.

“One of my roles is to propagate the values of leadership to our community. The Kabiyesi has been my mentor for many years and he has got a lot of leadership capacities. I also try my best to contribute to community development. This was why my wife and I built the hall of fame last year.”

Retired AIG Ogunsakin, who is also the Basorun of Ikere, hailed the developmental strides of the reigning Ogoga which he described as unprecedented in the history of the ancient town.

He said: “This programme (Odun Oba) is a celebration of the progress and unity of Ikere and I am happy to be part of it.

“Since the king, Oba Agirilala II of Ikere Kingdom came on board; we have been witnessing progress and prosperity.”

The Ogoga, who appreciated the unwavering support he had received since ascending the throne in 2015 also expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the citizens in their various fields of human endeavour.

He said the task to make Ikere great had just begun, urging his subjects not to relent in working hard to positively transform their hometown to the level of great Yoruba towns and cities.

Delivering his speech, Oba Alagbado appealed to Ikere citizens not to be divided by politics, saying the development of the kingdom is a task that must be accomplished.

The royal father vowed that he would never be distracted in his commitment to ensuring the fulfilment of his desire to take Ikere to greater heights in the comity of Yoruba towns and to ensure that its citizens rise to the pinnacle of their endeavours and bring the benefits home.

Oba Adejimi said “this year’s celebration is unique in the sense that one of the landmarks of Ikere and waymark or waypoint in Ogoga dynasty history which heralded the arrival of the first Ogoga, the UJA UGBOLUMODE Obelisk was commemorated on Tuesday 2nd August 2022. This shall serve as a memorial which every subsequent new Oba Ogoga must visit in the company of our traditional hunters at installation.

“Also, this year too, our friends Captain Ibraheem Bode Oloko and Captain Oladipo Olarewaju built a second guest house of 4 bedrooms in the palace.

“Within the period of these past seven years too, some big industries and farms have been established by our own sons and daughters to provide jobs for our teeming youths.

“The dualization of the Ikere-Akure road by the Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced though at a very slow pace. We pray that will be favoured in the coming dispensation to see to timely completion so as to relieve our people of the torture they go through in transiting between Ikere and Akure.

Kabiyesi also uses the opportunity to thank the Ikere people both within and outside Nigeria.

“Those of you who have willingly joined hands with us to positively contribute towards the developmental progress of the kingdom I thank you most sincerely.

“The ordinary people like the market women, the hunters, the artisans and farmers who made a sacrifice to raise money for the upgrade of the College of Education to the University of Education, Science and Technology I pray for each and every one of you. Your sacrifice shall not be in vain.

“I commend our people in Canada and USA for your contributions too. Erinle Ikere a gbe yin o.

“I commend the President, executive and members of the Ikere Development Forum and all other societies who have risen up to support the progressive march of the kingdom. It shall always be well with you.

“I also want to particularly express my gratitude and appreciation to the following: Members of Ogoga in Council and particularly the Ikere Traditional Council Members, Asiwaju Wole Olanipekun, Otunba Sola Adewumi, Bashorun Tunde Ogunsakin, Bobagunwa and Yeye Bobagunwa Dimeji and Toyin Isiaka, Prince Niyi Fabikun, Prince Feyi Ogoji, Princess Bisi Ogunneye, Barrister Dayo Akinlaja SAN, Barrister Ola Olanipekun SAN, Engineer Tunde Fakoyede, Barrister Ola Olakoyede ESQ, Segun Olowolafe, Princess Sayo Adenle, Owolabi Sameseen, Balogun designate of Ikere Kingdom, Emmanuel Ogunremi, Tope Orolu and Gbobaniyi and Yeye Gbobaniyi Ife Adedipe SAN.

“ The committee in charge of the Census under the leadership of Chief Ayodele Omotayo now the Ajiroba of the kingdom, I commend and thank you and your team for your sacrifice, especially during the last Area Enumeration Demarcation exercise.

“For all this, I remain very grateful to all of these good people who used their own earnings to help in lifting Ikere Kingdom up in our stride to modernity.

“I have an unshakeable faith in the Lord Almighty God to continue to lift Ikere up, promote our sons and daughters in their various endeavours and grant us peace

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