By Solomon Odeniyi
Chairman of the Iwude-Ijesa planning committee, Chief Olu Falomo has described the Iwude Ijesa celebrated under his chairmanship as a modern version of the old Iwude festival, saying it is a convergence of culture and tradition, pomp and pageantry, excellence and beauty.
He added that what was known today as Iwude festival was known as Iwude Ogun in the past.
Falomo spoke at a press conference to herald the 2018 edition of the festival.
He noted that the change of name was done following the recommendations by the sons and daughters of Ijesa descendants.
This, he said has allowed the festival to reflect the mood of the time, bring people of all religions and Ijesa people within the six local government areas and Local Council Development Areas together.
Falomo stressed that the festival, over the years has had sociological significance to Ijesaland, as it has brought about a re-union of people and served as a rallying point to foster greater unity among Ijesa people all over the world, develop the entire Ijesaland, celebrate hero and heroines thereby opening a new chapter of cooperation and progress in the land.
He added that “the festival also brings historical relationship between Owa Obokun and his senior chiefs and other Obas and chiefs in Ijesaland as well as reminding the Ijesas of the chivalry of their forefathers in the internecine wars of Yoruba land. While the former is signified by the exchange of gifts by the Kabiyesi, the latter is signified by the various gun shots and brandishing of war swords at the ceremony.
Wale Idowu, a member of the planning committee said the committee has been working effortlessly on the economic effort towards creating wealth with the festival which was a major requirement to getting it enlisted as a tourist site by UNESCO, expressing confidence that the recognition would come in due time.
“We have been working all along to get sponsors for the festival. Today we have the results to show for it. We understand that we must continue to work on the mind of our people. There is a world of difference between a festival and celebration, our efforts in this regards has also been yielding results.
“The acceptability of the event has been massive, especially among the sons and daughters of Ijesa in diaspora many of who have arrived to participate in this event. With this, we are sure, and I can beat my chest that in due course the event will be enlisted by UNESCO,” the former OSBC DG said.