The Odole-Owa of Ilare-Ijesa, Osun State, Dr. Tope Abiola has disclosed that this year’s edition of Osu-Oja, otherwise known as Odun Ade will be held in a grand style in Ilare, headquarters of Obokun East Local Council Development Area, Osun State.
The Odole-Owa who is the spokesperson of the community and Chairman of the festival’s planing committee said series of activities have been highlighted for the programme which commences on Thursday 4th May.
According to him, ‘Gbadolofi Egigun Oba’ would come out by 5:00:pm to pay courtesy visits and prayers to the royal families, Chiefs and distinguished personalities in the town.
On Friday evening, a friendly football match would be played between youths in Odo-Oja and Oke-Eyindi quarters of the town.
The High Chief Odofin Olumose Victor Busayo Adeniji is expected to be the Chief Host and Chairman of the competition, while the Obaala of Ilare, High Chief Oluremi Idowu Fatimilehin is the Special Guest at the competition, while all the Chiefs are among the spectators.
A statement issued by the committee stated that the grand finale of the programme would come up on Saturday 6th May, when the monarch who is the Chief celebrant of the Osu-Oja Festival, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adejoro Otebolaku JP, Ogidan III Olori Elu Eka-Osun, the Owalare of Ilare Kingdom would wear his acient traditional Ade Are beaded crown which he normally wears once in every three years to pray for inhabitants of the Ilare Community.
The Committee explained that the Kabiyesi in a carnival-like manner would move round the town amidst pomp and pageantry to pray for residents of the town.
The Kabiyesi, the committee maintained would be accompanied by all the Eka-Osun, his Chiefs, members of all the Royal families in the town with traditional drums to be lazed with ancestral lyrics and songs that would remind them of their direct migration from Ile-Ife as the oldest settlement in Ijesa land.
The release explained that the Owalare on a chariot with a kite would stop at main junctions in the town to pray for inhabitants of the town, who would have assembled with their cups of water and salt to receive the monarch’s prayers, while they could also express their appreciation with gifts of any kind; cola nuts, bitter cola, etc.
The Committee Chairman, enthused that Osu-Oja Festival is neither fetish nor idolism, but a celebration to remember the migration of the progenitor of the town, Ajalorun-Oro from Ile-Ife to their present settlement.
It is also a day for the monarch to familiariase himself with his people and offer prayers for the land.
It begins the planting season of various crops in the town as an agrarian community.
The Parish Priest of St Francis Catholic Church Ilare, Rev. Fr. Patrick Oladapo is expected to say the opening prayer by 8:00am before Kabiyesi is set out, while the Presbyter of the Methodist Church, Ilare would close the event with prayers in the evening.
Other side attractions added to the programme of the day is the Ijo Irore by young damsels in the town and Ayo Olopon competition, which would be officiated by High Chief Ejemu, Olufemi Ogungbemi.
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