*asks Nigerians to restore old glory of farming
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, said that the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, stands as a major stakeholder responsible for the peace and tranquility currently being enjoyed in Nigeria.
President Buhari who gave the commendation in Ile Ife at this year’s annual Olojo celebration
commended the peace initiative of Ooni Ogunwusi .
Represented by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, President Buhari tasked Nigerians to be sensitive to their security and not leave everything for security agents.
” I appreciate Ooni’s effort in ending insecurity in Nigeria. Collectively, we will end insecurity in Nigeria.
We are collectively responsible for provision of security”, he said.
President Buhari added, ” the government will do its own while the people should also support the security agencies. We should report any suspicious move or person in our environment to the security agents.”
The President stressed that Olojo and other festivals in Yoruba land in the olden days are used to showcase harvest and productivity in the agricultural sector and not just for fun or merriment.
“Olojo festival was an event in the olden days to showcase farm produce, profits made in farming and agriculture at large. It will gladden my heart if Nigerians could restore the old glory of farming; this Olojo festival too should also bring back the old days of showcasing farm produce, hardiwork and good character.”
President Buhari stressed that the festival should not be for merriment alone, saying, ” merriment should come after work. There should not be merriment without work. Working is the antidote to poverty.”
Ooni Ogunwusi and Co – Chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of (NCTRN) in a statement vowed to remain steadfast and committed to preserving the Oduduwa legacy of festivals like Olojo to inspire the economic and security solutions for Nigeria and Africa using cultural tourism as veritable tools.
“Anchoring the mantle of the Olojo Festival is the ideal fit for mending our nation’s brokenness. When we turn on the news, read the newspaper, or look at our social media feeds, we see brokenness. We are a broken people in a broken country,” he said.
Ooni Ogunwusi added, ” we are under broken political systems, governance, education, healthcare, security, religion, etc. Through the lenses of our existence, we don’t have to look far to see brokenness which is reflected in our interactions, conversations, sense of recognition and support for our young people”.
“Olojo dispenses the rich nuances of the past as well as the unforgettable contributions of our forefathers to our existence and greatness.At this historic intersection, our traditions and heritage have given birth to modernity and will continue to lighten our paths from darkness. I’m steadfastly committed to preserving, inspiring, and distinctively igniting a desire for the sustenance of their age-old meaning as they continue to serve as our precious treasures.”
Osun State Governor, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, while speaking at the celebration congratulated descendants of Oduduwa for witnessing the prominent festival, commending the Ooni for preserving the prestigious Yoruba culture.
Represented by his Deputy, Benedict Adegboyega Alabi, Gov Oyetola said, “as a government, we remain committed to our electioneering promises and we won’t renege on our pledge to make life better for all.”
Also speaking, the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Jamaica and the Caribbean, Ambassador (Mrs.) Maureen Tamuno, stated that a lot of people in the diaspora particularly in the Caribbean have traced their roots back to Nigeria and festivals like Olojo will be instrumental to reuniting them with their kinsmen.
The event was witnessed by numerous traditional rulers, chiefs, business tycoons, political office holders, international tourists and observers from countries like Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica and America, had the Ooni who was flanked by his beautiful queen, Olori Mariam Ajibola Ogunwusi and members of the royal (Giesi) family at the centre of the crowd.