The Oyo State Government said it is set to collaborate with the Brazilian custodian of culture, Oba Awurela, Kabiyesi Sangokunle Adekunle Alayande, on the Black Heritage Day.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, while receiving Oba Awurela in his office, on Tuesday, declared the Oyo state government’s readiness to parley with Brazil on promotion of culture and tourism.
Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun lauded Oba Awurela for his plans to expand the frontiers of tourism in Oyo State, using culture as a tool, which will, in turn, boost revenue in the State.
Olatunbosun shed light on the mapped-out strategies to drive tourism in the state, through cultural heritage.
He called for further international investment and cooperation to harness the state’s tourism potential.
Oba Awurela, a paternal descendant of Awe in Oyo, said their mission was to propagate the image of his paternal household and further build cultural ties between Oyo State and Brazil.
The monarch sought collaboration of the Oyo State Government in the celebration of Brazilian Black Heritage Day, otherwise known as ‘Searchie November’ which is a yearly celebration to commemorate Brazil’s freedom from the Europeans.
Speaking further on the existing cultural integration, Oba Awurela said Brazil and all Diasporans in South America have an Academy that integrates religion and cultural heritage.
He spoke of the plan to create Oyo Empire in Brazil, which will be known as ‘OYOTEDO’.
Oyo Govt Pledges Support for Iyemoja Festival
The Oyo State Government has pledged its full support for the annual celebration of the Iyemoja Festival in Ibadan, saying it will ensure it attracts the attention of UNESCO.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun gave the assurance during the celebration of this year’s Iyemoja Festival at the River Bank of Popoyemoja in Ibadan.
He explained that the government threw its weight behind the festival in order to promote and preserve the cultural heritage, as well as remember the forebears in the state.
The Commissioner promised that, to make the approval of UNESCO a reality, the next Yemoja Festival would be well packaged to attract a mammoth crowd to grace the occasion.
Olatunbosun added that this singular act would attract sponsorship to the Festival from different brands.
Also in their goodwill messages, the Chairperson, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Mrs. Michael Olubisi Margaret and Hon. Mrs. Olajide Olufunke eulogized the Governor for fulfilling his promise to approve and support Isese day which is a way to promote Oyo State’s rich cultural values, which in turn may be a money spinner for the State.
Earlier in her opening speech, the Yeyelorisa of the Festival, Omitonade Ifawemimo Egbelade said that the festival is an avenue for every son and daughter of yemoja, both at home and in the diaspora to converge and celebrate their past heroes and also plan on ways to move the belief forward.
The highpoint of the Festival was the appeasement to Iyemoja deity by Baale Iyemoja Omikunmi Egbelade, who took the propitiation and dived into the river, a symbolic representation of the sacrificial rites.
Prayers were offered for the Government and the people of the State.
Other highlights were cultural displays by different masquerades such as Ayelabola, Danafojura, the Olorisa Yemoja, Gelede and a host of others.
Prominent Nigerian Chief Dies
South West Nigeria has been bereaved as a prominent chief Fidipote of Ijebu Ode, Otunba Wahab Osinusi has reportedly died.
Reports obtained revealed that a family source confirmed the Chairman of the Council of Otunbas in Ijebuland, Ogun State, died on September 30, 2023.
Otunba Osinusi had just celebrated his 90th birthday on June 2, 2023.
The Otunba Fidipote of Ijebu hails from the popular Osinusi family in Ijebu-Ode and one of the Otunbas of the Awujale of Ijebu, Oba Sikiru Adetona.
He was also the Chairman, of the Ojude-Oba Festival Committee and was usually the one who welcomed guests to the colourful festival.
Osinusi attended Reverend Kuti Primary School in Abeokuta and later went to Abeokuta Grammar School for his secondary education.
He worked briefly at the Nigerian Railway Corporation in Yaba, Lagos, before proceeding to London in 1958, where he read law and was called to the Bar in 1962.
Document Unveils Next Alaafin
A document has emerged revealing the identity of whom the Oyo Mesi, a group of kingmakers in Oyo State, selected as the new Alaafin of Oyo, Nigeria Updates has learned.
According to the document, the Oyo Mesi, reportedly picked Lukman Gbadegesin from the Agunloye Ruling House and forwarded his name to the government last year.
In the document sighted by Premium Times, the name of the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s likely successor was sent to the Oyo State government on September 30, 2022.
The document, believed to be a proclamation document and a court judgment, was signed by the five living Oyo Mesi members and two warrant chiefs selected by the government to replace deceased Oyo Mesi members.
The proclamation reads, “We hereby proclaim Prince Lukman Adelodun Gbadegesin the new Alaafin.”
The kingmakers said they received a list of 82 aspiring princes from the Baba Iyaji of Oyo, the head of all princes, Mukaila Afonja.
As the proclamation shows, all the kingmakers signed for Mr Gbadegesin, whose grandfather, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, was the predecessor of the immediate past Alaafin Adeyemi III.
By Oyo tradition and the Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration, Baba Iyaji is empowered to collect the names of aspiring princes from the next ruling house and transmit them to the Bashorun, the head of Oyo Mesi.
The Bashorun would then convene a meeting of the kingmakers to take a vote, and the prince, with a simple majority, is to be proclaimed Alaafin.
According to the law, an aspirant or the ruling house has 21 days to petition the government to challenge the selection. But no such petition was written.
However, after the expiration of the 21-day window, a prince, Hakeem Ladigbolu, approached the court to set aside the selection process.
But in a judgment given on December 19, 2023, an Oyo State High Court in Oyo Town, upheld the process leading to the selection of Gbadegesin, court papers show.
Nigeria Updates gathered that despite the proclamation by the Oyo Mesi and the court judgment upholding the process, the government has yet to make a formal stand.
Meanwhile, the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, confirmed the process has been concluded.
He told the platform, “We have submitted everything to the government, direct all other questions to the government, but we have completed the process.” He, however, refused to disclose the name of the prince selected.
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