Monday, 21 December 2020

Exclusive Images and Eyewitness Report of 2020 Iwude Ijesa Festival... By Oladimeji Lasore

At about 11am on Saturday 19th of December 2020,   the Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, CFR, LLD, embarked on a carnival like procession which signified the kick-off of annual statutory routine of visiting traditional courtyards; the grand finale of the Iwude Ijesa festival.

He paid routine visit to traditional palaces starting from the Yeyerise in Ereja and in turn to the Obaala in Okesa, the Sawe of Ijamo, the Lejoka in Ijoka and Salotun in Ereja, offering of prayers and blessing the people that came out to catch a glimpse of him.

The Oba, who rode in a white Toyota SUV through the annual procession that lasted for about six hours, was in a all white attire.

 As the Kabiyesi stepped out of the ancient Oke-emese palace, he took the direction of Arise courtyard, the abode of Yeyerise, the head of Ijesa women where obeisance were paid and prayers were offered.

The royal procession then moved to the Prime Minister and the Head of the Agbanla order Palace- Obaala’s courtyard.

The Obaala is the head of the Iwarefa highest traditional body and Ijesa Obokun Parliament known as “Agba Ujesa” – “Eta-ule Eta-oko – Uwa refa mefa”. The Obaala’s person represents the headship of the Ijesa Obokun public. 


The Owa Obokun Adimula alighted from his vehicle and danced to “Ijo agba” rhythm/tune of drummers as he entered into the residence of the Obaala.

The procession then continued through the long Okesa street where people gather by roadside to catch a glimpse of the Kabiyesi passing through Ilemo junction to Idi-ose market.

At the Ilemo junction the Lemodu payed him homage as the procession moved on to Idi-Ose at Okesha where he stopped briefly at the Owaeso courtyard, took some colanuts and some other gifts. In return, Owa Obokun blessed the family with prayers and doled out cash to the wives of the family.

Significantly, at the frontage of Owaeso courtyard, an ancient war drum was brought out, beaten to warriors' tune to show that the Owa Obokun has moved from the region of Administrators to the region of warlords which Sawe of Ijamo-Ilesa represents.

He then passed through the Idi-Ose market to the Ijamo-Ifosan junction where the Loofosan of Ifosan and the Sawe of Ijamo received him. He then moved into the Sawe of Ijamo quarters where he offered prayers as he stayed a few minutes.

The procession then moved to Ijoka the territory of Lejoka, the Ijesa Obokun most senior Defence Chief assisted by other Ijesa generals. They trooped out with their swords to pay homage to the Ijesa Obokun monarch.

From Orita- Ijoka, the procession moved to the Lejoka’s courtyard where  monarch changed his crown and attire and spent about an hour amidstv beating of the “Igangan Obokun” rolling drums in the replica of the military rhythm.

The royal procession left the Lejoka’s residence and passed through the long Ijoka-Ereja road in a noticeable change in funfair to the Salotun courtyard where he adorned the sacred ancient crown-"Ade eleye Oduduwa Abalaye”- that the Owa Obokun wears only once in a year.

He left the Salotun's quarters to grove-like made prayer point where he sat in public, flanked by his wives before offering prayers.

The procession then returned to the ancient Oke-emese palace marking the end of the Iwude ceremony to be followed by a reception.

The reception organized by the Iwude Ijesa Planning committee had in attendance the Deputy Governor of the State of Osun, Mr. Benedict Gboyega Alabi, who represented the state Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the Speaker of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye, many Ijesa traditional Obas, dignitaries and government officials led by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism,Dr. Adebisi Obawale Simeon.

Photos: (Credit Alanben Studio and Oladimeji Lasore +2347035105413)




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