From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The ancient town of Kabba, headquarters Kabba bunu local government area of Kogi State was thrown into festive mood on Monday as the Ilajo royal family celebrates the Odide day
The day was set aside to celebrate Obaro Odide the progenitor of the ilajo royal family and a day where all members of the family from all over the world assemble in unison at the Aofin Palace to offer prayers for the peace, progress and unity of the ancient Community.
The day is also set aside to give free medical outreach to the under-privileged, the aged and all categories of residents and to give food items and clothing materials to the widows and widowers in the community while free Bibles and other Christian literature are also freely distributed.
The convener of the programme, pastor Emmanuel Shae Bebeyi while speaking with our correspondent said the main objective of the programme is to win more souls for Christ and specifically to win the community back to Christ saying where there is no peace there can not be unity and development.
In his words’ ” I feel very pained each time I see Kabba in this deplorable state with many people living in abject poverty while many die of common ailments which are easily curable
” Worst still there is no unity in the town , every clan is living under the fear and suspicion of the other and the cord of unity that bound the whole community together seems to be torn into shreds, so I felt we needed to do something urgently to arrest this ugly trend and this is how I arrived in organising this annual programme
” The idea is first to bring unity to the Ilajo royal family and by and large to bring peace unity, and progress to all the families and clans in Oweland and even to all communities in Okun land and thank God we have been able to achieve so many feats since this programme started four years ago.” He added
To this end, he said this year’s celebration was different as the Ebira community, the Nupe, the Ndigbo, the Hausa , the Tivs and all other residents in the Kabba town including neighbouring communities like Ijumu, Bunu and Yagba were all invited to grace the occasion .
Pastor Bebeyi who stressed the need for everyone to eschew bitterness and hatred expressed hope that kabba will soon become an enviable city which all will be proud of.
Highlights of this year’s occasion include prayers for the family and the community, traditional dances, free medical outreach, distribution of clothing materials , food items to widows and widowers and distribution of Bibles and Christian literatures, among others
It will be recalled that the father of the convener, Pa Joseph Olonisaiye Bebeyi was the palace chaplain for several years before he died last year.
This year edition attracted many dignitaries including neighbouring communities and town unions who came in their hundreds to celebrate with the royal family