The Muslim annual Eid-el Kabir celebration in Ijebu land, Ogun State, South-West Nigeria, comes with the colorful and spectacular “Ojude-Oba” festival.
The festival sees the gathering of natives of Ijebu land at the palace of the Awujale, the paramount ruler of the land.
Origin of the Ojude-Oba festival
Long before the Ojude-Oba festival became an all-encompassing gig, it was a small gathering of adherents and followers of the Islamic religion.
The festival was first observed over 100 years ago, at the time the first Muslim converts in Ijebu-ode paid homage to the Awujale of Ijebuland to express their gratitudes over the freedom he gave them to practice their religion.
Today, however, the festival has transcended religious lines and now attracts people of all creeds as well as tourists from within and outside Nigeria.
Venue of the Festival
The festival is held in Ijebu-Ode town.
When the Ojude-Oba Festival is held
The festival is celebrated on the 3rd day of Eid al-Adha.
Major activities of the event
- Parade by different age grades (Regberegbes)
Three different age-grades display their colourful attires
Both genders have different categories of ‘regberegbes’. Both genders belonging to different age-grades will jostle to outshine each other. The winners are awarded cash prizes
There are different horse riding families. Each led by a ‘Balogun’. Balogun is the descendants of Ijebu war heroes.
Some of the horse-riding families include:
Balogun Odunuga, Balogun Bello Odueyungbo Kuku, Balogun Agboola Alausa, Balogun Alatishe, Balogun Otubu, Balogun Adesoye, Balogun Odejayi, Balogun Adesoye Onasanya, Balogun Towobola, Balogun Aregbesola and Balogun Ajibike Odedina.
Their entry is announced by intermittent gunshots which send almost everyone into a frenzy