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Olojo festival climaxes as Ooni returns from isolation, wears historical crown

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Oba Ogunwusi emerging from seclusion to perform the Olojo festival rites

• Ogun House leader lauds choice of Akarigbo-elect
The annual Olojo festival climaxed at the weekend in Ile-Ife, Osun State as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, emerged from the Emese court within the expansive palace, donning the historical ‘Are Crown.’

According to cultural belief, the Ooni returned to the land of mere men after his isolation for some days ahead of the festival, with blessings and goodwill of the creator. The Olojo festival is used to celebrate the day of creation when according to Yoruba history, Eledumare created the first day.

Hundreds of people were at the Ooni’s palace on Saturday as he emerged from isolation after about a week of devotion. People thronged the streets and waiting anxiously for hours to get a glimpse of the highly revered traditional leader and progenitor of the Yoruba race wearing the sacred Ade Are.

It is a crown believed to have been sent down by God when he created the day and only worn once a year during the Olojo festival by a ruling Ooni.

When he emerged to the cheers of the crowd and subjects, the Ooni embarked on the traditional procession to Oke Imogun, the ancestral shrine of Ogun, the Yoruba god of Iron and Idi-aje before returning to his palace.

The festival, the second of its kind to be celebrated by Oba Ogunwusi on the throne was witnessed by mammoth crowd of traditional worshippers, eminent Nigerians and other dignitaries from all walks of life.

Before Oba Ogunwusi emerged with the Are Crown, which is believed to weigh about 80kg at around 5:35p.m. he had earlier received the
procession of Ogun, Sango, Osun worshippers and adherents of other deities, who filed out in the frontage of Ile-Oodua, the palace of the monarch, to pay him homage.

As tradition demands, many pigeons were offered as sacrifice to appease the gods and other rites were performed before the Ooni
came out through the Emese court, donning the historical ‘Are Crown.’

Accompanied by some palace chiefs and eminent indigenes of Ile-Ife, including the former deputy governor of Osun, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Oba Ogunwusi acknowledged cheers by the crowd, who struggled to catch a glimpse of the monarch as he graciously moved to Oke Mogun shrine to perform some rites.

At the Oke Mogun shrine, Oba Ogunwusi prayed for peace and socio-economic development of Yoruba nation, Africa and the global community.

Dignitaries that attended the 2017 Olojo festival included the Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, deputy governor of Osun, Titi Laoye-Tomori, Senator Buruji Kashamu, former Commissioner for Tourism in the state, Sikiru Ayedun, among others.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader in the Ogun State House of Assembly, Asiwaju Yinka Mafe, has commended the recent choice of the new Akarigbo of Remoland, Prince Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, by the seven kingmakers.

The lawmaker thanked his colleagues in the Assembly for the expeditious manner they reviewed the appointment before giving their stamp of authority, and he also thanked Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun who assented to the oba-elect’s ratification by the legislature.



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