Osogbo in festive mood for Osun-Osogbo grand finale
The Osogbo, the capital of Osun, will be agog on Aug. 21 as devotees of Osun goddess, tourists, cultural enthusiasts and indigenes, celebrate the grand finale of the Osun-Osogbo festival.
The 2015 edition began on Aug. 11 with the clearing of the traditional paths called “Iwo Popo’’.
The grand finale will witness a votary maid (Arugba Osun), going to the river with a calabash filled with antiquities to worship the goddess of the river on Aug. 21.
Osogbo town and the Palace of Ataoja of Osogbo had been bustling with activities in preparation for the grand finale of the Osun-Osogbo festivity.
MTN Nigeria, Alomo Bitters, and Nigerian breweries sponsor of the event were seen putting finishing touches to boast festival.
A trader in Osogbo, Mr Tunde Akinboboye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “he makes more money during the period with his colleagues’’.
Akinboboye said he made the money from tourists who come to Osogbo to witness the Arugba Osun as she goes to the groove on Aug. 21.
Mr Victor Remilekun, a staff of Gani Olaoluwa Hotel, told NAN that hotels in Osogbo were fully booked.
Remilekun said tourists from other countries and government officials across the country had booked almost every hotel in the town including theirs.
He said the event would add value to the socio-economy lives of the people as tourists and people from the state and country troop into the Osun.
“I know the activities will create avenue for informal workers to make money during the festival,’’ Remilekun said.
A security operative, Mr Fagboyinbo Abiodun, in Dada Estate in Osogbo told NAN that the police had been on 24 hour surveillance before, during and after the Osun-Osogbo festival.
According to him, everything is in top gear and security personnel will be dispatched to every nook and cranny of the groove and the entire state to fight crime.
He advised criminals to flee the state.
The Ataoja of Osogbo had said that the 2015 festivity would be promising and colourful as well as add more cultural and socio-economic value on the people.
The state government has declared Aug. 20 as public holidays for the traditional festivity of the Isese celebration.
The Ayo Olopon contest (Native ayo contest) comes up Aug. 20, while the final holds on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22.
The Osun-Osogbo Trade Fair will be closed as the festival rolls off for 2015.