By Ayodeji M. Owolabi
The Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, Ilufemiloye, (Ogidi III) has reiterated his commitment towards the development and repositioning of Igbara-Oke. The monarch stated this during the 2017 edition of Ijesu Olowa Festival, otherwise known as Olowa Yam Festival in Igbara-Oke.
Ijesu Olowa is one of the most celebrated festivals in Igbara-Oke. This kind of celebration is a custom in Igbara-Oke, and New Yam festival is a norm in Yoruba land, which marks the beginning of the time to eat yam. The time of this celebration may differ as it concerns different towns and communities. Nevertheless, the New Yam festival is never without traditions.
Oba Agbede was full of excitement when he saw the people of the town, both the indigenes and non-indigenes in the town in their large numbers that accompanied him to the farm to harvest the yam for the celebration.
The monarch who could not hide his joy, said the reason for this new yam festival was to strengthen the bonds of unity of the indigenes and non-indigene of Igbara-Oke, and to seek the continued and unhindered peace, progress and prosperity.
The people of the town deferred their businesses and their schedules to join His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, Ilufemiloye, (Ogidi III) in about 3km walk to and from the farm.
Many residents who could not hide their emotion, said this edition is the best Ijesu Olowa ever. They affirmed that previous celebrations has never been as elaborate like this, and they are optimistic that the reign of Oba Agbede will usher in more goodies for the entire good people of Igbara-Oke.
The Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede in his address to the people of the town, commended their efforts and appreciated the citizens, residents and well-wishers who participated in the celebration. He also urged the youth to venture more in agriculture and see it as a viable means of employment, and advised them to take advantage of numerous intervention and agricultural empowerment programmes that have been put in place by the government to improve their wellbeing.
He enjoined the youth to eschew all forms of violence and hatred, and embrace peace, unity and love that would engender speedy development, and to see themselves as the inheritors of today’s institutions.
He therefore called on sons and daughters of Igbara-Oke in the Diaspora to always remember home with the ultimate goal of rebuilding and repositioning Igbara-Oke.
The festival was rounded up with the hoisting of Igbara-Oke flag, to symbolize her identity and “Dawn of a New Era”