From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
Sons and daughters of Ile-Ife, Osun State, converged on the palace of Ooni on Saturday to celebrate the 2022 Olojo festival.
Representing President Muhammadu Buhari, Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola recalled that the festival had been an opportunity to showcase farm produce in the past, expressing displeasure over the neglect of farming in the country.
“In the olden days, at a festival like this, we use them to display the harvest of our farms to measure how far we work and our economy. I will be pleased if we can revert to the tradition. It is better to celebrate after work,” he said.
“We must be vigilant, we must not leave the work of security to our security agencies alone else there will be problems. All of us must be concerned about security. The government will play its part, in little areas where we are encountering challenges, and we will soon succumb to them before December 2022.
“We must work together with security agencies to win the challenges of insecurity. I recognise the roles played by Ooni to end insecurity and I commend you for this,” he added.
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola said his administration has been making efforts to protect the citizens, promising that he will not relent to ensure the safety of the people of the state.
Represented by his deputy, Benedict Alabi, Oyetola congratulated the people of Ile-Ife, noting that Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi has been supporting the government in his capacity to engage the youths.
“I thank the Ooni for his sacrifices and for interfacing with the ancestors to perform all the necessary cleansing, productivity, security, and other rites for the benefit of the black race in particular and mankind in general.
“The significance of this festival is in tandem with the philosophy of our administration, as we strongly believe that the State economy should be repositioned by giving a boost to cultural-tourism promotion to drive meaningful youth employment, create wealth, and preserve our cultural heritage, among others.
“I want to assure you that government will continue to do all within its power to protect the people, and provide an enabling environment for a prosperous, secure and progressive Osun.
“As we celebrate this year’s edition of the festival, I enjoin all and sundry to intensify efforts to preserve our cultural heritage, entrench peaceful co-existence, eschew political bitterness, and always be our brothers’ keepers,” Oyetola added.