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I am delighted to welcome you all to this year's celebration of the annual Ogun Festival.
Today’s festival is significant because it is one of the festivals celebrated by the Olokun festival foundation at the tale end of the year.
So far, in the last twelve months, we have kept faith with our annual calendar and tradition.
We have also kept the hope of the Yoruba nation alive by celebrating our progenitors and ancestors, even as we continually promote the Yoruba culture, tradition and heritage.
For me, this is the greatest legacy that the [OFF] under my leadership have bequeathed on the coming generations of Yoruba race.
More importantly, we have also shown the rest of the world that our commitment to ensure that all these festivals become annual ceremonies is real.
And I believe, therefore, that posterity will definitely judge us right.
Today, as we celebrate the Ogun festival here in Ikorodu, I must express my appreciation to the Ikorodu monarch, Oba Kabiru Adewale Sotobi, who is the Royal host at this event, other monarchs here present and the indigenes of Ikorodu for their cooperation and support.
Therefore, as we gather here today, it is very important to tell the world the reason for celebrating the annual Ogun festival.
It is also pertinent for us to tell the world about Ogun.
Who is Ogun? Or why do we celebrate Ogun?
Ogun is a divine being with divine characteristics, he is a warrior and the god of Iron and Technology celebrated across the world.
His relevance is also noticeable in Ire, a popular town in Ekiti state. He is also the deity mostly respected among his faithful as the god of Iron.
Accounts of his exploits and superior powers as the first of the primordial deities are well documented in Yoruba history and mythology, because when the deities were coming from heaven to the earth, Ogun played a very important role in ensuring their successful journey to the world.
He created the pathway that linked the luminous world of gods to the physical plane of human.
That was why it is very difficult for man to live comfortably in the world without using the world’s technology.
Believers of Ogun across the world have their shrines and they usually consult his Oracle for divinations, especially, when things go wrong and they have to appease the god of Iron and seek his face even before embarking on a journey.
That tells us about the supreme powers of Ogun, the god of Iron. Therefore, it will be a disservice to the coming generations if we fail in our duty to promote our cultural heritage.
But, let me ask this question:
What usually crosses your mind when you hear people bear such names as Ogunsakin, Oguntuase, Oguntade, Ogunwale, Ogundele and Ogundiran?
These are names that reflect that true meanings of the god of Iron and truly showcase the importance of Ogun to the bearer.
But it is sad that today, those names are being changed and are becoming irrelevant as people no longer bear such names.
Westernization of our cultural history, tradition and religious beliefs is gradually becoming a curse rather than a blessing to our generation, and until we appreciate our cultural heritage and
Promote our tradition; we will hardly make any meaningful progress as a nation.
I, therefore, appeal to our religious leader (both Christian and Islam) to desist from denigrating the Yoruba cultural heritage.
We have a rich culture in dressing, greetings, eating and in relating with our God, the Olodumare.
Therefore, we must promote the Yoruba cultural heritage in our places of worship.
This is the only unique identity we have as a Yoruba race. More importantly, the contemporary media practitioners should continually project the Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage to the world.
On this note, I implore the Federal Government to re- introduce the study of history into our academic curriculum in our schools. Our rich cultural history is going into extinction, and sadly too, nobody seems to care.
This portends grave danger to our future and sanctity as a cultured people, History is part of us and we are also part of the emerging history.
The truth is: history remains the bedrock of development for every nation. And no nation can make any meaningful progress without a good knowledge of history.
The problems we experience today as a nation emanate from total neglect of our cultural heritage and values. Nobody can swear on Ogun and fail in fulfilling the promise.
No doubt, Ogun’s wrath is immediate and nobody will like to play with fire.
We appreciate Ogun for his dexterity and influence in the affairs of the world. Because it was Olodumare, the Supreme being that blessed Ogun and endowed him with such unique acumen.
Part of what makes Ogun the divine being is the fact that he is in charge of the various new technological innovations we see across the world.
For instance, the cars, airplanes, ships and other technological instrument are tools of god of Iron.
That is why Ogun remains indispensable to mankind. God, the supreme creator of heaven and earth and the Olodumare uses him to fulfill his purpose in the world.
Like Elegbara, Ogun is gifted. As a deity, he’s a tool in the hands of the Supreme Being, and nobody on earth will doubt the existence of Ogun whether in the physical or spiritual realms.
He is worshiped in places like Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and Ondo states. In Dahomey mythology, Gu is the god of war and patron deity of smiths and craftsmen.
Also in the religious tradition of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble, Ogun as the Yoruba divinity is known in the Portuguese language is often identified with Saint George.
Meanwhile, in the cult of Orishas, he appears in other aspects, such as Ogun Akirun, Ogun Alagbede, Ogun Alara, Ogun Elemona, Ogun Onire, onile kangun kangun ona orun.
It is evident that in Yoruba parlance, Ogun has the longest panegyrics.
As a foremost organization, we are convinced without any iota of doubt that truly the Yoruba deities and traditional institutions remain sacred.
Nothing can discredit them. Over the years, from our findings and researches, we have it on record that Ogun was a loyal and faithful servant of Olodumare.
He was a warrior with unique power and we can hardly live without using his tools. He is mostly acknowledged in all rituals.
Given his significance on earth, we are obliged to reckon with Ogun in whatever we do, because Ogun remains the god of Iron and all things made from Iron are instruments of Ogun.
Devotees call him" Ogun Onire " and Dog is mostly used as the sacrifice to the god of Iron.
That tells you that the Ogun we celebrate today is worth more than you can think of.
As far as we are concerned, the Olokun festival foundation, we will remain steadfast in our pursuit to promote the ideals of our progenitors.
We will not relent on our efforts and we will continue to be the leading light in the struggle to dispel the wrong beliefs about the Yoruba deities, heroes, tradition and cultural heritage.
That is the reason we must continue to support the Yoruba traditional rulers across the country and indigenes of various communities to celebrate our deities, heroes and heroines.
Our Obas are the repository of Yoruba history, culture and traditional knowledge.
So, as we celebrate Ogun today, I urge the people of Ikorodu to contribute their quotas to the development of the ancient town.
I am happy that indigenes of Ikorodu are versed in the knowledge of the truth about Yoruba dieties, ancestors, heroes and heroines, as well as our cultural heritage and traditions.
It is my belief also that as we continue to celebrate Ogun festival annually, we must be good ambassadors of this ancient town.
We must be good ambassadors of Yoruba and Nigeria as a whole, today’s event is a testimony of progress and development for everybody here present, particularly, the commercial transport business owners who make sacrifice to Ogun for spiritual, social and economic benefits.
Thanks for listening.
Otunba (Dr) Gani Adams
National Coordinator Oodua People’s Congress
Chief Promoter Olokun Festival Foundation
Chairman Gani Adams Foundation
Convener Oodua Progressive Union.

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