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Osun Osogbo Grand Finale Festival Holds Today 

Osun Osogbo Grand Finale Festival Holds Today 
  • PublishedAugust 12, 2022


  • As Osun Govt Warns Devotees, Tourists Not To Drink From Osun River Water

Kazeem Badmus

OSOGBO, the capital of the State of Osun, will be agog today (Friday), as Osun devotees, tourists, cultural enthusiasts and indigenes, celebrate this year’s Osun Osogbo festival. 

Osogbo town and the Palace of Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Oyetunji, had been bustling for the past few days with activities in preparation for the grand finale of the Osun festival.

Also, tourists and cultural enthusiasts from across the globe, have flooded the state capital to join the activities for the celebration of the United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Osun Osogbo festival.

The festival kicked off on Monday August 1 with the clearing and cleansing of the traditional paths called “Iwo Popo’’.

This was followed by the lighting of the 500-year-old ‘Atupa oloju merindinlogun’, which took place on August 4. 

‘Bibo Ade Oba Osogbo’ (honouring past kings of Osogbo) was also part of the activities which prelude the grand finale. 

Yesterday, the traditional rite ‘Dida Ifa Arugba’, where a young virgin woman (Arugba) of a royal lineage, offers sacrifices to the deity took place. 

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. 

However, observers were of the opinion that unlike the previous years, devotees might be reluctant to take the Osun river for consumption, owing to its contamination.

OSUN DEFENDER had reported in its previous editions that the river has, for over three years, been polluted by mining activities in Ijesaland. 

Also, a nongovernmental organisations, Urban Alert, has over the years been calling for the clean-up of the contaminated 213km Osun River.

Osun Govt Warns Devotees, Tourists Not To Drink Osun River

The State of Osun Government has warned tourists, devotees and visitors to the grand finale of the annual Osun Osogbo Festival on Friday not to drink water from the Osun River because of contamination.

Osun Government sounded the warning through Commissioner for Health. Dr Rafiu Isamotu gave the advice in an interview with the newsmen on Thursday in Osogbo.

He said government embarked on the sensitisation to discourage people from drinking the water during the festival as it had been contaminated by the activities of artisanal miners and not good for human consumption.

According to him, “There are radio jingles on the health hazard of drinking water from the Osun River due to contamination.

“However, this is a cultural thing and no matter how hard you try, some people will not oblige, but we will continue to sensitise them.

“There may not be a quick fix to this pollution, but as government, we will continue to do the needful.

“Government has taken cognizance of this pollution and working really hard to prevent the activities of artisanal miners.

“It is a menace; it very difficult, but we cannot fold our arms,’’ he stressed.

Isamotu said public health officials would be at the grove during the festival to further sensitise people on the dangers of drinking the water.

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