Sunday, 10 November 2019

TRAVELOGUE: Iwude Ijesa Festival's Planning Committee Members Make a Circular Voyage of Part of Ijesa North

Tuesday 5th October, 2019, five members of Iwude Ijesa Festival Planning Committee, Chief Afolabi Igbaroola, Mr. Wale Idowu, Prince Isaac Haastrup, Mrs. Victoria Oluwaseun, my humble self (Oladimeji Lasore) and two administrative members staff, Mrs. Bunmi Ogunniyi and Master Tobi Omirin made a circular voyage over a section of Ijesa land. Starting from Ilesa at about 11:30am, passing through Ijebu-Ijesa to Iwoye-Ijesa to Ere-Ijesa Ilahun to Ibokun to Otan-Ile to Imesi-Ile and using the dreaded Imesi-Ile-Ila-Orangu­­­n-Esa-Oke road to arrive again at Ijebu-Ijesa.

On our way to Ibokun from Ijebu-Ijesa we arrived at the Osun river, we saw the effect of the flooding of Odo Osun along Ijebujesa/Ere/Ibokun road. About 20 hectares of farmlands belonging to peasant farmers must have been destroyed by the flood, which covered more than 3 kilometres on both sides of the road.

At Ibokun the vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee, Chief Afolabi Igbaroola intimated Oba Festus Kayode Awogboro Alademure of Ibokun with the programmes of the 2019 Iwude Ijesa Festival and the clarion calls for the unity among Ijesaland Obas with a resolve to work together to promote peace and progress in Ijesaland. He emphasized that the rebranded Iwude Ijesa Festival is to celebrate the Obas and that when the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland will be performing his annual statutory function of visiting some of his Chiefs on Iwude Ijesa day, other Ijesa Obas are to sit and watch different display of Ijesa cultural heritage by various invited cultural troupes and artisans from all over Ijesaland and receive customary obeisances from Ijesa people. That Ijesa Obas should unite and ensure that they assume their rightful place in the Iwude Ijesa Festival Celebration. "We must also unite to ensure that Ijesaland is developed”, Igbaroola said.

In his response, Oba Awogboro, surrounded by two of his Chiefs; Taiwo Okunola, Saba of Ibokun and Chief  Ogunkilede, Banurin of Ibokun, prayed that the good intention of the members of the Planning Committee for the unity of Ijesaland will come to realization. He also said that he detests any form of downgrading that can come the way of Owa Obokun of Ijesaland whom he considered as the  "Number 1" Yoruba Oba. He promised to spearhead the propagation of the peace and unification talk amongst other Obas.

The committee members later had an interactive session with the the Obokun LG Nigeria Police Area Commander, Mr. Akingbade Adeyinka, who hails from Otan-Ile. He suggested to the Committee to carry the crusade to the Osun Commissioner of Police so that a joint security plan can be initiated for the festival.

2:45pm, we departed Ibokun for Imesi-Ile using the Ibokun-Otan-Ile-Imesi-Ile road to honor a rendezvous with the Owaooye of Imesi Ile, Oba Enoch Ademola.

We arrived at the dreaded Ajeokun Junction between Otan Ile and Imesi Ile where 14 passengers of a commercial bus travelling from Osogbo to Abuja were abducted by gunmen recently.
We experienced the poor condition of the road that made it difficult for the bus driver to escape from the bandits as we approach Imesi-Ile that is almost entirely surrounded by hills of various altitudes; the hills are numerous, sometimes magnificent, giving the town its picturesque look.

At Imesi-Ile, the Vice –Chairman, Chief Afolabi Igbaroola thanked HRM Oba Enoch Ademola Akinyemi, Oyoyo II – The Owa – Ooye of Imesi – Ile for the fatherly love he bestowed the Committee members, he informed him that Iwude – Ijesa 2019 edition is coming up on Saturday 21st December, 2019 and he presented to him the draft programme of events and some of the past brochures.

HRM Oba Enoch Ademola commended the love and commitment of members towards the development and growth of Ijesaland and encouraged members to promote honesty and love in order to have a unified Ijesa community. He promised to support the team and participate in some of the activities and a group photograph was taken before we departed Imesi-Ile to Esa-Oke.

The Imesi-Ile-Esa-Oke road located between Ekiti and Osun State is often plied by trucks, buses, cars heading to the west from the North. The road is so bad at the moment that many drivers are now choosing to go through Ila. Being deserted recently, kidnappers have started targeting this road and if a car is unfortunate to break down on this road, they become their easy targets. We got to a point on the road where we had to come out and walk to allow our vehicles to manoeuvre.

We arrived at the palace of Owa Omiran of Esa Oke, Oba Adeyemi Adediran at about 4:15pm.

The Owamiran expressed optimism that convergence of all traditional rulers in ijesaland on the Obokungbusi palace square for the celebration of the age-long ijesa festival of unity would go a long way in fostering unity among the Obas and the Paramount ruler.
He saddled the Committee with the responsibility of managing the existing cohesion among the Obas to fast track development and industrialization of the land.

Earlier, the Vice-Chairman, Chief Afolabi Igbaroola, while presenting brochures of the past editions of the festival to Oba Adediran, said the committee embarked on the visit to sensitize stakeholders on their roles during the event.

We departed Esa-Oke at about 5:15pm, using the Esa-Oke-Ijebu-Ijesa road and we finally arrived Ilesa at about 5:50pm

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