Osun Osogbo Festival begins

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

The universally renowned Osun Osogbo festival has commenced with a symbolic ritual for the cleansing of the town “Iwopopo” on Monday, August 8.

Addressing a press conference at the palace of the Ataoja of  Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun called for peace and usual accommodation of tourists and visitors to the ancient city during the 600 year old festival.

He noted that 2016 festival, with its accompanied funfair has been made possible by God and other partners.

He poured royal blessings on the corporate organisations that supported the event to make it a reality, describing them as true partners in progress.

Oba Olanipekun used the occasion of the press conference to express gratitude to God and the good people of Osogbo at his victory at the appeal court on July 22.

“I am extremely happy for this day. This is my first outing after my victory at the Appeal Court in Akure on July 22, the victory has made this year Osun festival remarkable in all ways.

“My victory has made it clear to everyone that it is only God that enthrones and dethrones,” he averred.

The Osun Osogbo festival consultant, Mr Ayo Olumoko noted that the 2016 festival is unique, because despite the economic downturn , many corporate organisations still supported the event.

He explained that the main thrust of Osun Osogbo festival is to celebrate the African culture and display its distinctive values to the people of Africa and beyond.

offering the sacrifice to the river goddess

He said organisers have put all mechanisms in place to ensure safety of lives and property, before, during, and after the event.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Olajumoke Bello pledged government’s commitment to ensuring the success of the festival.

“The Orita Olaiya dual carriage way, leading to Isale Osun the venue of the event has been completely rehabilitated and adequate security arrangement has been made to ensure a hitch-free event,” she said.

Some of the corporate organisations at the event pledged their support for the event, and confirmed the inherent cultural values of the festival.

Other major events are the Oloju Merindilogun (Lightening of Sixteen Traditional Lamps that comes up Thursday 11th August, 2016 and the Grand Finale that will be witnessed by tourists across the world at the Osun River which takes place on Friday August 19, 2016.

Speaking on behalf of other partners, the Corporate Affairs Adviser of Nigerian Breweries PLC, Mr Kufre Ekanem stressed that the festival has put Nigeria on the world tourism map.

Ekanem, reiterated the partners resolve to “create a memorable experience that will excite and reward the tourists and indigenes of Osogbo town”.

Other partners include Grand Oak, the maker of Seamans Schnapp and MTN, a leading telecommunications company in Nigeria amongst others.