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Ogun State Governor Abiodun Aims to Globalise Ojude Oba Festival, Celebrates Cultural Unity

Ogun Governor Abiodun has emphasised the Ojude Oba Festival’s role in preserving Ijebu heritage, fostering unity and economic growth.

Ogun State Governor,  Dapo Abiodun on Tuesday said that his administration was poised at making the Ojude Oba festival a global event.

The governor who stated this at the 2024 Ojude Oba Festival held at the Ojude Oba Pavilion in Ijebu-Ode, said the annual event had grown from a mere gathering of Ijebu people to felicitate the Awujale to an event that attract both national and global audience.

According to the governor, the festival, which has become a tourist attraction, symbolises and reflects the collective unity of the people known for hard work, perseverance, and industry.

He said: “Ojude Oba festival is not only a cultural heritage for the indigenes of Ijebuland and has now become a significant event that attracts local and foreign tourists to Ogun State, showcasing our hospitality and enviable tradition of Ijebuland to the national and global audience.

“This festival serves as a symbol of our unity, tourism and a rallying point to all the Ijebu sons and daughters to celebrate the life and times of our tradition, our culture, and our revered monarch.

“It has become a catalyst for development of Ijebuland, this undoubtedly underscores the importance of preserving our traditions for future generations.

“By standing for unity and harmony, we elevate our community and set an example for others to follow. The essence of unity and harmony in Ijebuland can be seen willingly in cultural events like this festival.

“Our administration is deeply committed to supporting the initiative to make it a permanent event in the global tourism industry.”

The event, Abiodun observed, creates opportunities for advancement and has brought about socio-economic development not only to the axis but the state as a whole.

While thanking President Bola Tinubu for showing interest in expanding the festival, especially with plans to include it in the UNESCO’s world cultural heritage, Abiodun said his administration was committed to providing the conducive environment for business to thrive.

He said the festival provides an opportunity for the Ijebu people to take stock and project the future. He called for unity and harmony from people across the state, adding that it was time to work together to build a virile state.

“The state government will continue to create a conducive atmosphere for community development across the state and I solicit the support of the people, especially all the sons and daughters towards the 20th National Sports Festival, Gateway Games, 2024, part of which will be hosted right here in Ijebu-Ode,” the governor concluded.

Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hon. Hannatu Musa-Musawa, who was represented by Mr. Ben Ugo, said her ministry was working towards promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of  Tinubu’s administration with the creation of economic expansion to the tune of $100 billion.

He acknowledged the cultural diversity of Nigerians, noting that the federal government was working towards making the country a cultural hub by the year 2030.

Chairman of the 2024 Ojude Oba festival, Chief Olu Okuboyejo, appreciated the governor for his support for the festival and the people for turning up enmass to grace the occasion.

Meanwhile, telecommunications company, Globacom, has said that Ojude Oba and similar festivals in the country had enormous potential to promote cultural diversification, national identity, harmony and unity.

In his goodwill message to this year’s Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, on Tuesday, the Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., also noted that these age-long festivals could foster cultural exchange and showcase Nigeria’s rich heritage to the world.

 Adenuga observed that the theme of this year’s celebration, Unity And Harmony In Ijebuland: The Gift of Ojude Oba, emphasised the  values that the festival had espoused for over a century that it has been in existence.             

He added that the festivals also had potential to boost tourism and help in the diversification of the economy which was why the Federal Government and many governments across the globe have placed tourism on top of their development agenda.

Drawing reference from  the World Tourism Organisation, Adenuga noted that Globacom has   continued its collaboration with major festivals in the country in order to further strengthen  and entrench  them  as  world class carnivals which will attract even more visitors from across the world.

He equally expressed the belief that the partnership with the Ojude Oba Planning Committee will further foster a symbiotic relationship with immense benefits for both Globacom and the sons and daughters of Ijebuland at home and in the Diaspora.

In the Regberegbe competition, which was one of the key features of Globacom’s sponsorship of the festival, Egbe  Bobasete Okunrin Omooba came first; Egbe Bobagunte Okunrin Akile Ijebu second and Egbe Bobamayegun Okunrin Asiwaju came third.

In the female category, Egbe Bobagunwa Obinrin Omooba was adjudged the best dressed with Egbe Bobagunwa Obinrin Asiwaju and Egbe Arobayo Obinrin Akile Ijebu coming second and third respectively. They were presented with huge sums of money by Globacom.

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