Traditional rulers have been charged on the need to rejuvenate, develop and promote Yoruba culture, heritage and traditions.
The Ataoja of Osogboland, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Larooye II gave this charge at a Stakeholders Presentation Forum organised as part of the programmes to herald the activities of 2017 Osun Osogbo festival, held at his palace.
The Ataoja who gave thanks to God for giving them the opportunity to witness this year’s event described the festival as historic and memorable, adding that Yorubas should not, for any reason, mortgage their culture, tradition and heritage for anything in the world.
Oba Olanipekun, who decried the way most of the people under the guise of religion mixed tradition up with religion maintained that Osun Osogbo festival was an annual thanksgiving to commemorate the tasks the goddess have done for the indigenes of the town.
“Though, it is rather, not interesting that we are fast losing track of our culture and heritage. And if we should jettison our culture and focus on the borrowed one, we will never see anything good in what belongs to us. Many youths do not know our culture again. They now promote foreign culture as a result of our negligence, this we must not allow. Our culture is our culture, irrespective of western religious affiliation and influences.
“I hereby challenge other custodian of culture to emulate a programme like Osun Osogbo festival to propel the rejuvenation, development and promotion of our culture, tradition and heritage, which are so rich and highly enviable.”
I challenge Aragbiji of Iragbiji to rejuvenate Oke-Iragbiji, Timi of Ede to promote Sango and other traditional rulers in the state as this would help in boosting our economy.
In his remark, Managing Director/CEO INFOGEM Limited, Mr Ayo Olumoko, said as part of the efforts to turn tourism sector around, INFOGEM Limited would in no distant be partnering the South-West state governments to design a tourism template
Olumoko, further explained that efforts were in top gear to develop the entire landscape to benefit the region and the entire Nigeria.
He said, ” With the concerted effort to ensure the development of our culture, and as the newly appointed Vice President of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, I so much believe in the resurgence among the South-West states to boost as well as propagate the economic and cultural integration in the entire region.
He appreciated the sponsors of this year Osun Osogbo festival which he said include; Nigerian Brewery PLC and the Goldberg Larger Beverage, Mobile Network Telecommunication (MTN), Grand Oak Limited and Seaman Schnapps, the Olokun Foundation, being Superintended by Otunba Gani Adams and Government of the State of Osun.
Highlighting some of the notable events Olumoko said that, the festival which was a two-week programme of events had already commenced with the traditional cleansing of the town called ” IWOPOPO” on Monday, followed by the lightening of the 642 years old 16 Points lamp three days later, called “OLOJUMERINDINLOGUN”, followed by ” IBORIADE”, four days later.
“IBORIADE” is the assemblage of all the crowns of the past rulers (Ataoja’s) for blessing while the festival grand finale showcases the cultural procession of the people to the Osun groove”.