By Mumini AbdulKareem
Contrary to online reports that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki was booed at the Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, last Thursday, the former governor of Kwara State actually entered the venue in grand style amidst wild jubilation from the crowd.
The Awujale of Ijebu, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona had earlier defended the invitation of Saraki to the event and warned politicians to stop politicising it.
The Senate President arrived the the Oba Sikiru Adetona Golden Jubilee Centre, Ijebu-Ode in company of Senators Dino Melaye and Ben-Murray Bruce among other personalities, as the Special Guest of Honour.
Saraki’s entrance erased doubts following heated debate in some quarters over the Senate President’s choice for the 2018 edition of the festival.
Upon arrival, Saraki went round the pavilion to acknowledge cheers from the crowd before eventually making his way to the reserved area to pay homage to the Oba Adetona and other dignitaries.
In spite of the rain, guests were seen in their numbers to savour the occasion, which was majorly sponsored by telecommunications giant, Globacom.
According an eye witness, “Saraki walked round the venue and was hailed by the people. This is was the first time in the history of the festival that a special guest will go round the podium to greet the people already seated. It was indeed a day of great honour for Saraki and was even given a baby to cuddle in the midst of joy and excitement from the people,”the witness said.
The Ojude-Oba is held yearly two days after Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, as an age-old tradition of Ijebu indigenes in honour of the town’s monarch.
Different age-grade groups, known as the “Regberegbe”, attended the event in different colourful outfits, bearing gifts for the Awujale.
Other side attractions are the mock wars and horse display by various warlord families, as tourists from within and outside the country bask in the allure of the annual event.