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Okebadan Festival 2017: Text of Speech Delivered by Otunba Gani Adams, The Chief Promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, at the annual Okebadan Festival held at Cultural Centre, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State on Friday March 11th


Let me crave your indulgence to stand on every protocol as I reference the supreme being, Olodumare, who gives us the grace to be partakers in another Oke’ badan Festival. A lot has happened between last year and now but God counted us worthy to live and witness this day. Unto Him alone I give all appreciation. Iba re o Eledumare. Oba adeda, aseda. Oba to ba lori gbogbo aye porogodo.

I welcome our Chief Host and the custodian of our custom and tradition in the city of Ibadan, Kabiyesi Oba Saliu Olatunji, the Olubadan ti Ilu Ibadan. Ki ade ki o pe lori baba. Ki bata ki o pe lese. Ki ileke oye pe lorun. Ki irukere yin di okinni.

We in the Olokun Festival Foundation, OFF, organisers of this event and the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, value your leadership as the 41st Olubadan of this very brave and courageous city. We pray that you live long as you continue to promote our very rich culture and heritage on the throne of your forefathers.

I salute all the traditional leaders and other custodians of Yoruba culture present here, our people in government, sons and daughters of Ibadan and every other well-wishers. My prayer is that you will continue to rise and never experience a fall. Agbasa ga kii sa, e o ni sa laelae o (Amin).

Let me also use this forum to remember our heroes who fought the battle, kept vigils and laboured so much to deliver this great city to the Yoruba Nation. I salute Lagelu and Oluyole, great warriors and indefatigable beings that selflessly wrestled so tirelessly to save our race. We are eternally grateful.

Kabiyesi Olubadan, Igba yin ti ntu wa lara. E pe, e gbo, e je ju ara iwaju lo,

Special recognition also goes to Aboke, for keeping faith with the tradition and for his sheer observance of all rites as laid down by our ancestor, Lagelu, the great warrior.

The contribution of Aboke has gone a long way in ensuring that Ibadan witnesses impressive growth and socio- economic stability all the time.

Gbogbo wa pata, a ku odun, a ku iyedun, emi wa a se pupo Oke’badan!

Today is not a day of long speech. It is a day of joy and merry making. We are here to celebrate one of the biggest festivals in Yoruba land which is not only oiling our chord of unity   but also serving as the pot of celebrating the founding of this great city that housed the largest number of black in Africa.

Oke’badan Festival is one of the notable festivals in Yoruba land which the Olokun Festival Foundation holds in high esteem because of its cultural significance to the soul of Ibadan.

I must reveal here   that the celebration of Oke’badan festival, from time immemorial, as empirically proved, accounted for the generational achievements and progress being witnessed in the city .

Any town that remains faithful and steadfast in the cultural festivals to remember the past, pray for the wellbeing her people and celebrating the feats of past heroes, will always witness unprecedented progress and development

This festival is one of the major keys that unlocks the doors of fortunes and clear the way for accelerated   development in Ibadan land.

It is not by mere coincidence that Ibadan grows faster than any other cities in Nigeria.

This feat is not unconnected with the annual appeasement to Lagelu, who in turn releases fortune and bless the ways of the people.

Ladies and gentlemen, our culture is our identity.

We should not shy away from this. We hold our forefathers and incoming generation the duty of not only protecting our culture but we should also strive hard to sustain it and make it relevant to modern day’s realities.

We are playing our own little part to achieving this goal by our annual presence here to celebrate and observe the Oke’badan Festival.

Permit me to impress it on our Muslim and Christian indigenes of Ibadan that there is nothing fetish or primitive in   Oke’badan Festival. It is purely to remember the founder of this great city, same way we celebrate our parents on their birthday or in death.

This is also a cultural celebration where the efforts of the heroes past are appreciated, evaluated and celebrated.

Ibadan, is a city with seven hills. These hills played prominent roles as shields to the ancient warriors that delivered us from rampaging warriors who were not only coming to kill and destroy but to also dominate our cities and turned us to destitute on our own land. This is what Oke’badan Festival celebrates. It is a festival that has to be adopted by government and not left for the traditional institutions to celebrate alone. Oke’badan must be uplifted. Oke’badan must rise. Oke’badan must be elevated. Oke’badan must occupy a prominent space in global recognition. I encourage the Federal government to adopt this festival, polish it and give it the needed sweeteners in its scheme of boosting cultural tourism in Nigeria.

Before I end this speech, I enjoin all Nigerians to pray for this country. We need to, more than ever before, call on almighty God to take control of the affairs in Nigeria

Thanks you for listening

Otunba (Dr) Gani Adams

National Coordinator Oodua People’s Congress,

Chief Promoter Olokun Festival Foundation,

Chairman Gani Adams Foundation.

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