One major event that brings members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) together is the Elegbara Festival, organised annually by the Olokun Festival Foundation founded by OPC national coordinator and Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams.
This year’s edition offered an opportunity for participants to pray for the progress and development of Yorubaland. The seats at the venue were fully occupied, with members dressed in uniform attire. It was the fifth
Among the guests were Christians and Muslims. Royal fathers, traditional rulers and community leaders were in attendance in their numbers. OPC band members were on stage entertaining the audience just as DJ Sketz dished out quality music to liven up the occasion.
The event started with Christian, Muslim and traditional prayers, before the welcome address by the Yoruba generalissimo, Aare Gani Adams.
In his speech, Adams affirmed that whatever prayers said during the occasion must manifest. He also directed that a minute’s silence be observed for the late founding father of the OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo asserted that 2019 would be an important year for Yoruba, noting that they must brace up to the challenges ahead prior to the general elections.
He also educated the participants that the deity being celebrated was different from the Biblical Satan or the devil.
His words: “Whoever changes the tradition curries problem. We must uphold this deity. Elegbera is the most controversial in public domain. He has been maligned as Esu, the devil. For this reason, I need to shed more light
“Elegbera is one of the deities created by Olodumare, the Supreme Being, the third and the most popular. He takes the centre stage in Yoruba history just as he is mostly favoured as one of the most influential deities. At a
point in time, there was a twist in the story as presented by the people of the past and Elegbera was referred to as the devil. His fame screwed up in mystery and he became notorious as the harbinger of everything bad. It is a gross misinterpretation.”
He reiterated that the reason for the festival was to educate, enlighten and change the bad impression people have about Elegbera.
“God uses Elegbera to fulfil all his purposes, either in heaven or on earth. Elegbara acts according to the divine dictates of God. Elegbera is the unique deity that is saddled with great responsibilities, and as the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, it is my duty to protect our heritage, the Yoruba culture and identity including our language and tradition,” he said.
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Iba Gani Adams also bemoaned the porous security situation in the country. “There is a high rate of unemployment, insecurity, killings and Boko Haram activities bedevilling the country as I speak. It is terrible.”
He also affirmed that nobody could destroy the OPC. “Challenges will come but we will get to the Promised Land,” he said, lacing his speech with songs, even as he deployed potent curses on the enemies of OPC.
Alaguda of Aguda, Ogba, Oba Akeem Agbaosi affirmed that Aare has said it all and prayed for everybody. Royal father of the day, Onimeiran of Meiran, Oba Samuel A. Oroja started on a spiritual note and corroborated what the Aare said.
Chief host and Oba of Shasha, Oba Babatunde A Lawal asserted that whosoever begrudges the Yoruba nation will not prosper, even as he prayed that everyone present would witness more editions of the festival in years to come.
Dignitaries include Mrs. Yetunde Green, Yeye Osun, Chief Sola Animasaun, Oba-elect, Elegbeda of Egbeda, Oba Abdulhameed Kareem, Laka Orelope, Baale Oguntade, and High Chief Muftau Oguntade, among others.