Monday 23 December 2019


The 2019 edition of the annual Iwude Ijesa festival has come and gone but  the memories will last a long time as this last edition showcased a lot of considerable improvents, as Ijesa people were in celebratory mood for good three days.

Thursday 19th featured the the Ayo Olopon competition and the festival's cultural/gala night while the final of the football competition took place on Friday 20th. The ancient city went agog on Saturday 21st December when the people of all over Ijesa land were led by the Obas and the council's Chairmen to showcase the cultural heritage of the land, celebration was at the climax as Ijesa sons and daughters, home and abroad converged in the city to witness this year's Iwude festival.

Thanks to the efforts of the festival's Planning Committee led by the Vice-chairman, Chief Afolabi Igbaroola, the year's tagged "Festival of Peace" afforded the participation of majority of Ijesa land traditional rulers.

 The festival started on Tuesday, December 10th, with a town hall meeting with societies and organised groups in Ijesaland. A special Jumat service was observed at Ipetu-Ijese Central Mosque on Friday 13th while a special Church Service was held at St. Peter's Anglican Church, Ibokun on Sunday 15th December.

The procession which started from the king's palace afforded Ijesa people  opportunity to see their king usually once in a year while some followed the king's procession, many others stayed at the Ilesa Civic Centre to watch varieties of raw performances- dances, songs, cultural displays, parades and more.

To say the least, the just concluded Iwude Ijesa festival was a generous show of colour, love and excitement.

It was truly a rallying point and homecoming for the entire Ijesa people all over the world, to once again identify with their heritage that marks their sense of existence.

 The people appeared in their best attires; some were in the popular ‘Aso Ebi’ uniform, and made merry while celebrating the cultural festival together.

Aside sustaining the heritage of the people, encouraging the young generation to imbibe, preserve and promote the Iwude Ijesa festival, also created a formidable platform for the people to rally support for the development of their land for the socio-economic benefits of the people.

At about 10am on Saturday 21st December, 2019, a the Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, appeared in his white SUV and paid routine visit to traditional palaces Yeyerise, Obaala, Sawe, Lejoka and Salotun’ for offering of prayers and blessing. He also blessed the crowd , young and old and a host of others.

The 2 week-long 2019 Iwude Ijesa festival has come to the end with participants calling for unity and progress of Ijesa land.

Speaking on the occasion, Osun state governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola who was represented by his deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi said his government was collaborating with the Federal Government to turn the cultural and tourists attractions in the state to a fortune and make Iwude to be be reckoned with just as other popular festivals the country, while describing ijesaland as home of natural and human endowment, Mr Oyetola noted that the recent peace and unity being propagated by the Iwude Planning committee has begun to materialize through impressive turnout of the traditional rulers in the land for the cultural festival.

In his speach, the Owa Obokun Adimula, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II commended the state government of Osun for its unrelenting efforts to make Osun a commercial hub in the southwest in order to make every citizen of the state to be the best they want to be.
Oba Aromolaran congratulated the people of Ijesaland for the year 2019 Iwude Ijesha festival. He prayed for the progress of Ijesaland, the state of Osun, and Nigeria as a whole.

In attendant at the occasion were, the former Governor of the state of Osun and Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who happened to be the Chief Host, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye, the Speaker, House of Assembly, State of Osun, Some National Assembly members, and some state of Osun Cabinet members who were part of the Deputy Governor's entourage to represent Mr Governor.

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