From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Yearly, natives of Ondo kingdom in Ondo West and East local government areas of Ondo State converge to celebrate Ekimogun Day. It is a day set aside to remember and celebrate the founders of the town.
This year again, the people rolled out the drums for Ekimogun Day with eminent personalities in attendance. They included former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Olusegun Mimiko, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar and Deji of Akure, Oba Aladewusi Aladetoyinbo.
Indigenes of the town to paid homage to the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, the chief host, being the custodian of the norms, values, culture and tradition of the kingdom. Mimiko, who also hails from the town hosted prominent individuals at his private residence.
The event, the 29th of its kind, coincided with the 10th year coronation of Oba Kiladejo. This added more glamour to the occasion at the Oba Adesanoye Civic Centre. It provided opportunity for indigenes to deliberate on the ways to develop the town.
In the past 29 years that the Ekiomogun Day has taken place, hundreds of indigenes benefited from scholarship awards and trainings, through the funds generated at the event.
This year’s edition was not different as scholarship and bursary awards were given to brilliant but indigent students who are indigenes of Ondo.
With drums and trumpets reverberating from all corners of the venue, the people gyrated to music, hugged one another and exchanged pleasantries. First to entertain the gathering was the Fanana Cultural Group. It comprises young women and men wearing beads. They kept the audience on their toes as they members displayed different dancing steps.
Then followed the traditional payment of homage to the Osemawe who, in appearance and carriage, showed that Ondo has a rich culture that dates back to more than 500 years. Groups ranging from traditional chiefs, honourary chiefs, representatives of compounds, princess and princesses paid homage to the monarch.
Oba Kiladejo lauded the people‘s communal spirit, saying he believed that would enable them to see his vision of turning Ondo into a modern city comparable to what obtains in the western societies.
He expressed gratitude to the people for their support and co-operation since he ascended the throne 10 years ago. He said the people have shown much love to the town, which he said culminated in the rapid development of the town.
Mimiko thanked the people for standing by him throughout his eight years tenure as governor. He gave glory to God who he said had helped him not to disappoint his kinsmen and the entire people of the state.
He specifically mentioned education, health, urban development, industry and sports as areas where his government had performed creditably: “As I am speaking to you now, we have completed the International Medical Diagnostic Centre on Laje Road.
“There is no modern equipment that one can find abroad that are not there. Among other facilities we have are city scan, MRI, ultra sonography and mammography, which are all modern equipment. We would have commissioned it except for the construction we are currently undertaking on the road to the place.”