SOURCE: Olowa's Palace
I want to welcome everyone here today specially and to appreciate our invited guests who came from far and near to rejoice with us on this great occasion. I thank you for honouring our invitations. I am highly grateful seeing you all here again this year, and I am most grateful to God Almighty for keeping us alive to witness another celebration as we did last year. It has been God all the way, for His faithfulness, protection, provisions and for keeping us united as one happy family in this town. All glory be unto God.
I thank all the Royal Fathers here present. As a monarch, it has always been my joy to see our traditional rulers coming together to felicitate one another during an occasions like this, and for the continued championing of common course for the unity and the development of our traditional institutions, and Yoruba race in general. Kabiyesi Alayeluwa! Mo ki yin o.
I welcome our invited guests who had taken out time to rejoice with us again this year. God will continue to bless you. Permit me to recognize and appreciate our friend, friend of our beloved Igbara-Oke kingdom, Hon. Olamide Davies-Talabi, Honourable Commissioner for African Affairs, Office of the Mayor of the City of Newark and her entourage all the way from New Jersey in the United States of America. Honourable Commissioner, I thank you. Kindly extend my warm greetings and appreciation to our Honourable Mayor Ras J. Baraka when you returned to the City of Newark.
In ara o Ugbara kete! Omo Eleye ise weye! It is with immense joy that we all gathered here today to celebrate our end of the year, also known as Orikadun Celebration, and to return all Glory to Almighty God who has kept His word in our lives. I am highly delighted to have you around me and the kind of supports and hands of love you have shown towards me thus far since I ascended the throne of my fathers are commendable.
Without gainsaying, Igbara-Oke is a town in Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole that has shown the world that our festivals, traditions and cultural heritages bequeathed to us by our forefathers are second to none. We are very proud of this, and we celebrate these twenty four (24) festivals annually, and every date has been marked in our calendar as important days to be celebrated. Celebrating these has helped us to transmit the knowledge to coming generations so that it will not go into extinction.
As I always say, “Igbara-Oke belongs to us all”, and nothing can change that fact. My dream and desire is to see Igbara-Oke on the topmost top, and to be a reference community in terms of human, industrial and infrastructural developments. Your maximum cooperation and continuous support for me and one another will no doubt propel the realization of our dream for a united and progressive Igbara-Oke kingdom.
We are known to be on top, and I want to enjoin you all to continue to live in unity, peace and love with one another. Igbara-Oke has been known globally and we have been able to put our town on the global map by showcasing our traditional festivals which has been widely recognized and celebrated.
This year has been tremendous and a memorable one that many will live to remember. We all knew what it was last year and the difference is clear this year. The year has ushered unto us good tidings in different areas. The harvest yielded more fruitful crops and the weather has been so friendly with our farmers. Our traders and artisans are enjoying the viable economic status of our community and the satellite towns. We have reasons to rejoice as we have a good record of this outgoing year.
In the areas of infrastructural development, the construction of roads is on-going and the Rice Mill factory was flagged off in February this year. But we want to appeal to the government to help hasten works on these roads and the Rice Mill factory so as to create more job opportunity for our youths.
The Federal and State Governments’ appointments for our sons and daughters have indeed shown that good things can still come from our Nazareth. We have never had it so good like this in time past, and we bless God to have favoured our town again.
I am always happy and it gives me so much joy every time I read and hear of our sons and daughters doing great in their various fields of endeavours. This is indeed a good sign. I will love to appeal to them to look into the needs of the town and help meet them. Also, they should look back and help empower our youths who are in need of scholarships among other things that could help give them future. These among others are signs that our town is moving forward. Better days are already here, “The Dawn of a New Era.”
With the arrays of dignitaries present today, I must say that this year Orikadun took a different form from what it used to be in the past. This is the beginning of another year for us in Igbara-Oke, and we need to brace up for more fruitful and challenging years ahead.
I called it a challenging year because we are approaching the electioneering period and everyone is getting prepared to vote or to be voted for. This period will define so many things in the life of every citizen of our nation and our town is not left out. As a father to all and being the custodian of traditions and culture, I want to appeal to everyone in this contest not to see these elective positions as a do or die affairs. This is in the interest of peace. Let us respect each others’ ideology and desist from what may bring confusion or hinder peaceful atmosphere we enjoy as family.
Apart from being an election year, there is need for us to take advantage of positive opportunities that may help build individual capacity and community development, and for us to be a good ambassador of our country home. Let us endeavour to engage in good business worthy of showcasing. Above all, continue to live in love with one another. We should not also forget to intercede for our country in prayers.
As we journey into this New Year, I pray that God will prosper every good work of our hands, He will favour us on every sides, and bless us with more bountiful harvests of good things in the coming year.
Before I round up, I would like to make the following pronouncements as instructed by our deities in land:
• Henceforth, it is forbidden for anybody in this town who is not a titled chief in this town to wear beads (Akun)
• On no account should any farmer, trader or anyone come into the town with banana or plantain in full bunch.
• Also, no one must sell millet (Oka baba) in this town again
All these aforementioned are now forbidden. We need to be warned on these, because it is forbidden from time immemorial. The deities are angry they have warned us and I need to let you know of this. (Awon Alale ko ni bi nu si wa o). E se wo.
As I conclude, I want to also express my gratitude to Igbara-Oke Council of Chiefs for standing by me at all times. They have been wonderful and the roles they played in the administrative of this town cannot be quantified. I thank the Baales in our 13 satellite towns, and the youths. You have indeed shown true patriotism to our town.
I want to commend our sons and daughters in Diasporas, particularly, in the United States of America, United Kingdom and Europe for their hospitality during my tour. I really appreciate the love they showed to me and my entourages during the trip. May the good Lord continue to prosper their endeavours.
Once again, today, I congratulate you all. May it please God to enable us to witness many more of this season in Jesus Name, Amen. Thank you and God Bless
His Royal Majesty,
Oba (Dr.) Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede FCIM, MBIM
Ilufemiloye, Ogidi III
Paramount Ruler and Prescribed Authority,
Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom
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