By Steve Oviril
Olofun of Irele, Oba Olarewaju Lebi has charged the people of Irele in the southern senatorial district of Ondo state to continue to live peacefully as peace is the foundation of development and growth of the society. The royal father gave this charge at the much celebrated ” Ore” festival, the 2017 edition, which held in the town on Wednesday, the 12th of July, 2017.
The Royal Father said Ore festival has been celebrated for more than two hundred years and the well attended festival is one of the binding factor in the town as well as a significant event of rich cultural background and historical relevance.
A visitor to the town on the day Ore is celebrated will be overwhelmed with the kind of electrifying excitement that pervades the air as “sons and daughters of the soil” from all the nooks and crannies of the country trooped in enmasse to identify with their rich cultural heritage. As early as 8.am, people of the town have taken over all the major roads of Irele, while each quarter of the town was occupied with an air of a cultural celebration renting the entire atmosphere.
The Gboroye of Ode Irele said the first traditional festivity in Ode Irele is “the Ore festival”, without which new yam for the year cannot be hidden. He said “iwode” the royal procession from the Olofun ‘s Palace by the large crowd in company with the Olofun himself and his Council to “Ogwa” is a spiritual exercise as the kabiesi blesses the town with words of prayer.
From Lemikan to Temenu , Kanye to Opetunsi, Gboye to Yasere, Gboroye and all the other quarters of Irele, there was dancing, singing and open display of appreciation to the gods of the land for making “the Ore – Irele” festival a success this year.
Huge crowd were on the heel of the motorcade where His Royal Majesty and celebrant Oba Olarewaju Lebi and the Local Government Chairman, Hon. Prince Gbadebo Odimayo were conveyed from Olofun ‘s Palace to “Ogwa”, the traditional and royal grove where traditional offertory were observed.
While speaking with our reporter at the sideline of the traditional festival, the Chairman of Irele Local Government, Hon. Gbadebo Odimayo traced the historical perspective of Ore festival thus : “the people of Irele have been celebrating this festival from time immemorial. It is the celebration that ends the planting season; it is this celebration that precedes the Yam consumption ” ijeshu ” festival in Irele. The implication of this is that nobody in the town can make a meal out of Yam until this festival is consumated. ”
Continuing, Hon. Odimayo said he was very happy with the way and manner the people of Irele conducted themselves peacefully in their procession around the town in the course of the celebration, adding that the people have shown that there is an improvement in the way Ore festival is marked in the town
Odimayo however called on the youths of the town to shun violence and maintain peaceful conduct during and after the Ore celebration. He added that his administration will do everything within his power to make sure that the Ore Irele festival gets global recognition for tourism.
In her own contribution, Olori Ibidun Lebi said the Ore festival is one traditional festivity that every one looks forward to at Irele and it is only after this festival that “ijoyejeshu” celebration can take place in the town. Olori Lebi noted that the town observes Ore festival as a mark of honour and commitment to the laid down legacy of their forefathers.
The Irele- born high life maestro, Omo’ba Demola Suzi was on the band stand to supply high life melody which added colour and glitz to the festivity.