A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Rotimi Makinde, has hailed the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on the successful hosting of the 2017 Olojo Festival, stating that it is undoubtedly the greatest festival in the history of Yoruba land.
“This is the greatest festival being celebrated on behalf of all Yoruba in Ile- Ife as the origin of Yoruba land. It is a statement of fact that from Ife, our great forefathers founded other great kingdoms. Oranmiyan for instance was a son to Oduduwa; he founded Oyo kingdom and at the later part of his life he returned to Ile Ife where he is today being worshipped,” affirms Makinde who adds that Ife has lots of tourism potentials such as Moremi status, the tallest in the whole of Africa, the Oduduwa shrine, Yemoja shrine, and many others.
Makinde, however, urged all Yoruba sons and daughters, especially Yoruba governors of the Southwest, to make Ife their rallying point as, according to him, “the Olojo Festival is being celebrated in Ile Ife because it is the cradle of Yoruba race and is expected to be a place where all sons and daughters of Yoruba land are expected to express and share love and affection by identifying with Ooni Of Ife as a mark of respect. It should also serve as an occasion where all Yoruba monarchs must demonstrate their love to the Arole Oduduwa. All governors of the Yoruba speaking states like Senator Amosun, Ogbeni Aregbesola, Arakunrin Akeredolu, Senator Ajimobi, Dr. Fayose, and Mr Ambode are expected to visit Ife and the Oonirisa regularly and make Ife their source of power and wisdom as it originally is. Unfortunately, politics is taking the better parts of them.”
In the same vein, the Director General of the Office of Economic Development and Partnerships ( OEDP ), Dr. Charles ‘ Diji Akinola, said that, “Olojo is one of the oldest festivals in Ife. It is a celebration of life, the mark of the beginning of New Dawn all over Yorubaland in honour of the beginning of life itself and also Ogun, the god of iron. ”
Akinola disclosed that the Ooni is the custodian of this greatest festival for Ooni is the Arole of oodua and the only living mortal among the 201 of its peers. As a way of promoting tourism and showcasing our culture, the Ifes, and by extension, adopted the uniqueness of the day to celebrate Olojo as a mark of respect for our creature, the festival is as old as the cradle of Yoruba race itself and it’s the only day the Ooni is sighted with the very crown wore by Oduduwa the progenitor himself. Akinola noted that the festival would be rebranded , presented in modern form to reinforce the notion of Ife as a foremost cultural and tourism centre.