The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, will lead other eminent Nigerians to this year’s ‘Ojude Oba’ festival scheduled to hold later this month in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
The chairman of the festival organising committee, Otunba Wahab Osinusi, disclosed this on Monday at the Awujale palace hall, Ijebu Ode, during the press conference to herald the festival, which will hold two days after the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
He said it was the practice for an eminent Nigerian, supported by others, to superintend over the event.
He said, “We are inviting him (Saraki) as an individual and as an eminent Nigerian.
Every year, when we celebrate the festival, an eminent personality would be the special guest of honour.
“In the past, we have had the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, among others.”
Osinusi said it was erroneous to refer to the festival as an avenue only for fashion and cultural display, pointing out that the festival was also a veritable platform to transform Ijebuland in terms of infrastructural development.
He noted that the age grades, popularly known as the ‘Regberegbe’, all conceived and executed various projects annually aimed at further developing Ijebuland.
Osinusi said one of the age-grade societies, ‘Egbe Bobagbeye’, for instance, had constructed a maternity centre and an eye clinic that would soon be opened.
He added that some others had awarded scholarships to indigent but brilliant students of Ijebu origin in different levels of education.
While he commended major sponsors of the festival such as Globacom and First City Monument Bank Plc, among others, he said the festival had existed for over two centuries.
He said, “The festival is not only about the equestrian display, parade of culture and tradition, merrymaking and funfair.
“It provides the Ijebu nation with the opportunity to supplicate to the Almighty God, take stock, embark on self-help projects and reunite with family members and acquaintances.”