By Iyiola Pedro & Vezi Isike

Senate President Bukola Saraki was among dignitaries that braved the early morning rains to grace the annual Ojude-Oba festival in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2018 edition, celebrated on the third day after the Muslims’ Eid-Ul-Kabir festival, was held at the Oba Sikiru Adetona Golden Jubilee Centre.

The 100-year-old festival brings together sons and daughters of Ijebuland for an elaborate display of culture and heritage in honour of the town’s monarch.

Although originally, a small gathering of adherents of the Islamic religion every 3rd day after the Muslim festival, the Ojude Oba has transcended religious lines.

Prince Adekunle Babatunde, the General Secretary of the ‘Egbe Obabuwaji Okunrin of Ijebuland’ (the Club of men born between 1950 and 1952) told  NAN that the festival has been in existence for over 100 years.

“Ojude Oba, celebrated every third day after Ileya, is meant to pay homage to the Awujale by the indigenes, the Baloguns, the Regberegbes and the horse riders.

“To the people of Ijebuland, Ojude Oba is a cultural Day that attracts eminent sons and daughters of Ijebuland as well as people from foreign countries,’’ Babatunde told NAN.

Also, Aremo Adewale Abdul, the Giwa (Head) Jagunmolu Fehintade Akile Ijebuland age-group (1965-67) said the names of various age-group (Regberegbe) were coined out of events that occur in Ijebuland.

“The Regberegbe thing has been a yearly festival that most of us look up to in the last couple of years.

“Our own Egbe Fehintade, will be about 19 years now that we’ve been in existence, so we’re looking forward to doing our 20th anniversary.

“The various age groups’ names are coined out of events that are happening in Ijebuland. For example, the Bobagunte age-group commemorated  the year the Awujale became the Oba in 1960.

“Our own Fehintade age-group was coined out of our Iyalode, who happened to be Yeye Fehintade at Okun Owa,’’ Abdul said.

The event attracted people of all faiths and tourists, who came to witness the festival celebrated amidst pomp and pageantry.

Other side attractions were horse displays by various warlord families, who dress their horses and exhibit their horse-riding skill to the admiration of spectators.

During the dance competition, different age-groups, known as Regberegbe, displayed their dancing prowess.

The best-dressed Regberegbe and horse-riding family were rewarded with cash prizes. (NAN)