: First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has congratulated the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, chiefs, age groups, all indigenes, friends and well-wishers of Ijebuland on this year’s Ojude Oba Festival scheduled to hold in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on August 13, 2019.
The Ojude Oba, (which in Ijebu dialect means, “the king’s forecourt or frontage”, is a major festival in Nigeria that began over 100 years ago. It brings together all sons and daughters of Ijebuland in Nigeria and diaspora for a carnival-like celebration of the traditional, cultural, spiritual accomplishments and other values of the Ijebu nation. During the Festival, various age groups (popularly known as the Regberegbes), indigenes, their friends and associates from far and near – all in their colourful costumes and riding on horses, throng the palace of the Awujale of Ijebuland to pay homage to him amidst prayers and other fun-filled activities.
At a press conference on July 29 at Ijebu-Ode to announce the kick-off of this year’s edition, the Bank reiterated its commitment to support activities that promote and add value to Nigeria’s culture and heritage which are also capable of boosting tourism, trade and the hospitality sector. The lender added that its participation will as usual be grand, exciting and rewarding for the thousands of people within and outside the country that would grace the fiesta.
In a goodwill message to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Adetona, the Founder of FCMB Group, who is also the Olori Omo-Oba Akile Ijebu, Otunba (Dr) Olasubomi Balogun, CON, expressed his gratitude to the paramount ruler for his selflessness, distinguished and exemplary leadership for the 59 years he has been the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, which makes him one of the longest reigning monarchs in Nigeria.
In the message delivered on his behalf by the Group Head, Corporate Affairs of the Bank, Mr. Diran Olojo, Otunba Balogun said, ‘’as your children and subjects, the period provides us the platform, and the opportunity to pay you homage in demonstration of our affection for a very special and exceptional Father.As our Paramount Ruler who has continued to endear himself to us, his people and who by divine grace, renews his strength annually, in unison, all Ijebus say, “Kabiyesi k’ade pe l’ori, Ki bata pe l’ese. We pray your reign will continue to bring joy, inspire prosperity and engender togetherness in abundance to all of us, your children, the entire Ijebu race, at home and in the Diaspora”. I cannot but sing our famous song, “O ye ka dupe, O ye ka dupe, Ara san, Ategun fe, Iji ja, ko gbe wa lo, O ye ka dupe’’, he stated.
He stressed that, ‘’being the Olori Ebi (the head of the family, by the grace of Almighty God), and as your Olori Omo-Oba (the head of princes and princesses), I will continue to lead the way in showing our appreciation to you. As you extend yourself to our people’s different requests and yearnings, I wish to reiterate that the annual paying of homage, should not be the only occasion we should show our appreciation. This is because you have consistently earned our affection and our adulation, Kabiyesi’’.
In the same vein, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, congratulated the monarch for upholding the values of Ijebuland and raising the status of the event over the years. He stated that, ‘’the Ojude Oba Festival is a rallying point to promote the sustainable growth and development of our community. We recognise that celebrating our heritage is an important part of our national identity, a means of educating visitors and future generations about our history and an opportunity to measure our growth, development and sustainability. Hence, for us at FCMB, the Ojude Oba Festival is not just another event. It is a pride to us; being a major platform through which we reaffirm our commitment to the community and promote our nation’s cultural diversity. We will continue to support all activities of the State with focus on the economic and social development. We are committed to the longevity of the Ojude Oba Festival and are proud to be associated with its grandeur’’.