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Udiroko Festival to put Ado-Ekiti on World Map


ALPHONSUS N EFFI

The Oba of Ado-Ekiti, Oba (Dr.) Rufus Adeyemo Aladesanmi III (CON.JP) of Ekiti land, left the convenience of his Royal Palace in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti-State, for a working visit in Lagos to address an International World Press Conference on her upcoming “Udiroko” 2019 traditional festival,with the Theme: Enforcing and Sustaining the Solidarity of Our History, Culture and Tradition, the conference took place at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

The adorable Olori, Abosede-Adelugbe, was welcomed amidst pomp and circumstance accorded to an Oba in the caliber of her husband (The Oba of Ado-Ekiti) by members of the EWI in council, chairman of the occasion Omoba Julius Adetunji (Julie Pharmacy) chairman planning committee – High chief Professor Sunday Akindele, Director General Ekiti Council of Culture/Tourism, Ambassador, Wale Ojo Lanre representing the Governor of Ekiti State, Senator Mrs. Raji Rasaki Chairlady, President of the Ado-Ekiti Progressive Union, Chief Ayoola. Hon. Femi Bamisile among other dignitaries with sons and daughters of Ado-Ekiti Kingdom.

The press conference started with keynote welcome address by the chairman of the occasion dishing out information to all concerned about the importance of the Oba’s working visit, he elaborated the need for a wide coverage of the Udiroko festival to rank an international standard that would encompass best practice of Tourism as highlighted in other festivals like the famous Osun Oshogbo Festival and the Brazilian’s RIO carnival which attracts tourists from all walks of life cum nooks and crannies of the world. He also assured the Kabiyesi that the working visit is going to be a prelude to organising a world class festival in Ado-Ekiti come August 12, 2019.

He claimed that Ado-Ekiti had always been a quiet town that had settled down for centuries and had their own traditions and culture. The young people in diaspora should learn how to embrace their culture to enhance their values socially, politically and economically.

The chairman, Ado-Ekiti Udiroko planning committee, Professor Sunday Akindele who enthused that Udiroko Festival is an event organised annually to remember the Historic foundation of Ado-Kingdom. And has nothing to do with fetish or idolism, but strictly strikes at Ado historical development. Literally, ‘Udiroko’ derives its name from ‘under the Iroko tree.’
His Majesty further explained that the Ewi Biritiokun was a prominent prince from the descendant of Oduduwa, born and brought up in Ile-Ife.

The chancellors of Odumegwu Ojukwu University and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University acknowledged  the significance of this world press conference that took the Oba of Ado-Ekiti out of his palace to educate the people about the importance of the Udiroko festival, which is purely cultural and traditional festival to inculcate historical values of the Ado-Ekiti people to observers home and abroad, furthermore, Udiroko festival is to signify the history of Ado-Ekiti.

While the Director General of Ekiti State Council of Arts and Culture, Ambassador, Wale Ojo Lanre reassured that the development of Ado-Ekiti tourism must prevail, including the promotion of Ado-Ekiti arts and culture to promote core-values of Ekiti State to the progressive union, to attract tourist to the development of Udiroko Festival to act as a platform that will boost the economic and social life of Ekiti State which will further put the state on world map thus making Udiroko Festival attractive to indigenous in diaspora to recognise the marketable values of the festival.

The Kabiyesi, Dr. Rufus Adejugbe (JP.CON) Ewi of Ado- Ekiti while addressing the conference emphasised that for the past 28 years, he had tried to visit Lagos for meetings only for the state creation exercise while he was just six months old on the throne as EWI deferred him. Nevertheless, when this world conference of 7th August, 2019 came-up, he quickly decided to exploit the opportunity to visit Lagos and educate sons and daughters, likewise well-wisher including intentional bodies about the significance and importance of the Udiroko festival to Nigerians and the international community.

He enthused further that the festival is slated between Monday 12th, August to 20th of August, 2019. This significantly starts the New Year Calendar that will be traditionally recognised by their tradition. Thus, epitomised to provide ample opportunity for all sons and daughter to develop themselves. EWI or ELEWI became the title of subsequent leaders in the kingdom and from 13,000 AD, constant celebration of the heritage of Ado people had commenced showcasing the historical, cultural and traditional values.

The essence of the World conference is to invariably advertise and put the Udiroko festival on the famous Brazillian “Rio Carnival” level.

This EWI of Ado-Ekiti, went as far as enumerating the traditional, economic, political and social history of his kingdom to all and Sundry. Furthermore, he promised provision of adequate hospitality, security, knowledge and information to all that would attend the festival, come August 12th, 2019 at Ado-Ekiti, this celebration will be accompanied with merrymaking throughout Ado-Ekiti.

At this juncture, the dance drama performance of the students of Ado-Ekiti State University Students theatre group, further added significance to the ways and manners the “Udiroko Festival” gathered its origination.

The Chairman Chief Julius Adelusi declared the world press conference close later in the day with a closing remark, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. With closing prayers led by Engr. Ayoola in Islam, the President of Ado Progressive Union.