On Tuesday, August 13, two days after the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, as it is the tradition in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, chiefs, age groups, indigenes, friends and well-wishers of Ijebuland celebrated the Ojude Oba festival where they pay homage and renew their allegiance to the Awujale, paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona.
The festival is a platform to showcase the rich repertoire of the political and business clouts of the Ijebu collectivity.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB), known for its consistent commitment to activities that promote and add value to Nigeria’s culture and heritage, was one of three major business concerns founded by Ijebu indigenes that were visible at the occasion. The institution joined over 50 groups and age grades to pay respect to the king at the royal pavilion.
The financial institution as per its tradition, contributed its quota toward making the occasion exciting and rewarding to thousands of people within and outside the country who graced the fiesta.
The founder of the FCMB Group, Otunba (Dr) Olasubomi Balogun (CON) who is also the Olori-Ebi (Head of the family) and Olori Omo-Oba (head of princess and princess) is known for his passion and commitment to successful Ojude Oba festival every year. He religiously attends the grand finale and participates in the activities. This year, he was among the august company, including present and former governors of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun and Otunba Gbenga Daniel respectively and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who all sat at the pavilion with the Awujale.
Like its founder, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), continues to demonstrate an unflinching commitment to the promotion of Nigeria’s culture and heritage via the epic Ojude Oba festival.
This year’s festival had the usual characteristics of showcase of sartorial elegance by the regberegebe and scintillating equestrian display by the horse-riding familes of Ijebuland. However, the limelight was coveted by the Danafojura masquerade which in a surrealistic display was set aflame but strutted about unscathed. The display left many viewers stunned.
The masquerade from Oyo had performed upon the invitation of the Alaafin of Oyo as a homeage to Oba Sikiru Adetona as the longest serving paramount ruler of Ijebuland.
Otunga Balogun in his goodwill message to the Awujale expressed gratitude to the paramount ruler for his selflessness, distinguished and exemplary leadership for the 59 years he has been the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, which makes him one of the longest-reigning monarchs in Nigeria.
Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun avowed: ‘’The Ojude Oba Festival is a rallying point to promote the sustainable growth and development of our community. We recognise that celebrating our heritage is an important part of our national identity, a means of educating visitors and future generations about our history and an opportunity to measure our growth, development and sustainability. Hence, for us at FCMB, the Ojude Oba Festival is not just another event. It is a pride to us; being a major platform through which we reaffirm our commitment to the community and promote our nation’s cultural diversity. We will continue to support all activities of the State with focus on the economic and social development. We are committed to the longevity of the Ojude Oba Festival and are proud to be associated with its grandeur.”