Olojo festival: Traditional ruler warns youths against violence

The Sooko of Adagba, Bunmi Adegoke, has warned youths against all forms of violence during the “Okemogun day, the Aare Cultural Procession in the ancient city of Ile-Ife.

Adegoke gave the warning during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday, in Ile-Ife.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olojo Festival is an annual event celebrated by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and his subjects across Yorubaland.

According to Yoruba culture, it marks the day Oduduwa (the progenitor of the Yoruba race) created the world, and other deities descended.

On Saturday, the Ooni of Ife will lead a grand procession of chieftains and festival participants wearing the Are crown from Okemogun to the Enuowa Palace in Ife.

Adegoke lamented the lackadaisical attitude of Nigerian youths who are not ready to take leadership roles because of their behavious.

”It is unfortunate that our youths are just behaving abnormally. they are using today to spoil their tomorrow.

”If yesterday is destroyed, we can’t have fair today and if today is spoilt, there can’t be better tomorrow, but it’s very saddened that our youths are not focused or have oversight of their future.

”I am appealing to the younger generation to go back and think of their future and add value to their names,” he said.

Adegoke maintained that a good name is better than silver and gold.

NAN reports that on the festival day, the Ooni appears after seven days of seclusion and denial, communing with the ancestors and praying for his people.

This is to make him pure and ensure the efficacy of his prayers.

Before the Ooni emerges, women from his maternal and paternal families sweep the Palace, symbolically ridding the Palace of evil.

The Ooni later appears in public with the Are crown (King’s Crown), which is believed to be the original crown used by Oduduwa to lead a procession of traditional Chiefs and Priests to perform at the Shrine of Ogun.

The next stage of the ceremony is to lead the crowd to Okemogun’s shrine.

NAN reports that there, he performs duties including the renewal of oath, divination for the Ooni at the foot of Oketage hill by Araba (Chief Priest), as well as visiting places of historical importance.

At the shrine, the traditional Chiefs with the swords of office marked with chalk and cam wood, appear in ceremonial attire and dance to rhythms.

The Ifa Festival is a seven-day festival that takes place every year on the first Saturday in June.

Ifa (also known as Orunmila) is a deity oracle and one of the Yoruba people’s most important deities.

The first day of the festival includes rituals such as Ijawe Ifa Ooni (leaf picking for Ooni’s oracle) and Arisun Idana Afin (a culinary vigil at the palace), while the second day is dedicated to Bibo Ifa Ooni (sacrifice for Ooni’s oracle).

The third and fourth days are dedicated to Awo Oloju merindinlogun performing rites (a cult with sixteen faces).

Olojo has remained popular in Ile-Ife because of its myth and history.