Oba Ogunwusi, who was flanked by palace chiefs, priests and sponsors of the celebrations that include Bet9ja, MTN, Goldberg and Seaman Aromatic Schnapps, decried the continuous description of adherents of traditional religion as idol worshipers. He urged the people of the race to rise to the challenge and protect their cultural beliefs.
Oba Ogunwusi said the entire Yoruba race should jointly embrace the tradition of their ancestors, repackage and export it. According to him, “failure to admire it would surely destroy the labor of our past heroes. We are not idol worshipers, but we are using the celebration of the festivals to acknowledge and give due honor to all our deities that have contributed immensely to human existence.
“We are not idol worshipers, but we are using the celebration of the festival to acknowledge and give due honor to all our deities that have contributed immensely to human existence. “Olojo Festival symbolizes celebrating the first day of creation and the beginning of existence in Ile-Ife, being the cradle of the human race.
“The word “Olojo” implies reference to Olodumare, the creator and the owner of the day, and that is why Olojo Festival is being celebrated in Ife kingdom, the cradle of the Yoruba,” the monarch said. He said Christians and Muslims celebrate Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed in due times, adding that this was also applicable to traditional worshipers.
Ogunwusi also solicited the support of Nigerians in celebrating the festival. “All forces of nature such as rain, sun and water among others will interact for the betterment of the day and humanity. “We all believe and worship one God in diverse ways, Olojo Festival is a day that God specially answers prayer not for Ife indigenous alone, but for all and sundry,” he stated.
Ogunwusi also commended the corporate sponsors of the festival.
Earlier, the Secretary of the Olojo Festival Advisory Committee, Olugbenga Omiwole, had lauded the Ooni for uplifting the pillars of Yoruba tradition and cultural heritage.
Omiwole said Oba Ogunwusi had performed beyond expectation in filling the loopholes of tradition and culture among the Yoruba.
“The work of creation of Olodumare in the creation of the world was ordered through the existential reality of time which consists of morning, afternoon and night.
“It is through this order that the work of creation progressed to set up the world today.
“It is common knowledge that science and religion corroborated the fact of the story of the Bible and Qur’an respectively on the creation of universe.
“Ile-Ife is the land of expansion and the spot where creation began.
“This led to celebrating the first day of creation annually and the essence of the celebration is to commemorate the beginning of creation,” he said.
The festival would begin with the Gbajure Cultural Carnival on September 18 while the grand finale would hold on September 30 with the Ooni wearing the Are crown.
The closing ceremony would hold on October 1 with traditional trade and exhibitions.
source – Tribune news
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