By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
His Royal Majesty (HRM) Oba Pst Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle, Olu Of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, has called for the celebration of harmony in Ilaro and Yewaland as the 2017 Oronna Ilaro Festival begins.
Oba Olugbenle stated this at Asade Agunloye Palace, when he received the delegate of MTN, the official sponsor of Oronna Ilaro Festival in Ilaro, at the world press conference for the festival.
He explained that ever since the Oronna Day or Oronna Ilaro Festival started annually, peace and love had returned to Ilaro. He said this was because the central planning committee was picked across all quarters and compounds in the land.
“I can tell you categorically that this annual festival since I, Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle, Olu and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, has given me confidence and rest of mind. Whenever I am outside the town, state or country, I always know that there is no problem in Ilaro, because I know my subjects are law-abiding citizens and peace loving people.”
He said Ilaro is the headquarters of Yewaland or Ogun West Senatorial District, and every inch of our activities and programs must show love and harmony to others. “Because Ilaro leads while others follow”.
While appreciating MTN Nigeria for their immense contributions towards the development of cultures in Ilaro and Yewaland, Olugbenle advised the indigenes of the area not to allow the culture and tradition of Yewaland to go into extinction because of any foreign religious influence.
He said in Nigeria today, Yoruba still has the most cherished and respected culture of all other tribes.
The monarch urged the government, agency and other promoters of culture in our various domains to continue preaching the gospel about our culture and tradition that is gradually going into extinction, saying proper measures must be put in place urgently to reverse the trend.
Also, the Chairman, Central Planning Committee of Oronna Ilaro Festival 2017, Alhaji Rafiu Akinola, enjoined all intending governorship aspirants, political parties not to turn or highjack the festival and turn it to political campaign ground.
Akinola promised the good people of Ilaro that there is a lot of changes and development in this year’s annual celebration as venue of some the programs have been changed from the previous years.
He said 2017 Oronna Ilaro Festival would feature notable artistes who are sons of the soil from Yewaland.
They include Remminis, Chris Daniel, Small Doctor and other indigenous popular musicians in Ilaro.
Highlights of the week-long programs are Saturday 11th of November, 2017, Street & Road Show Carnival; Monday 13th of November, Tribute Oronna, Shrine, Itolu Shrine and Other Deities in Ilaro and Official Flag-off of Free Medical Screening by HRM Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle, Olu of Ilaro, at Asade Agunloye Pavilion Ground.
On Tuesday 14th November, there would 5 kilometers Marathon Race, Football Competition at Egbado College, Ilaro; Wednesday 15th November, Masquerade Dance, Gelede; and on Thursday 16th November, Onigba Aje from Odo-Ela to Igbo Aje Market Square in Ilaro.
In the evening, there would be Talent Hunt for Sons and Daughters of Ilaro in Fuji and Juju industry and Posu Night. Posu is a special delicacy synonymous to Ilaro people.
Also on Friday 17th November, 2017, visit to Juvenile Home, Motherless Home, Special Jumat Service at Ilaro Central Mosque, Beauty Pageant Competition and on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 the grand finale would be held at Asade Agunloye Pavilion Ground under the chairmanship of Chief Yemi Idowu, Otunba Gbobaniyi of Ilaro. And on Sunday, November 19th 2017, there would be Celebration Thanksgiving Service at Cathedral Church of Christ Ilaro.