The cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Ayeka in Okitipupa Local Govt area, southern senatorial district of Ondo state has been brought to the fore as the community celebrates the 2019 edition of its Iwo festival, an event that is rich in local content display of the tradition of the people of ‘Ayeka Ule’.
Regent of Ayeka, Princess Barr Oluyemi Bajowa celebrates Iwo festival.
Iwo festivity , noted High Chief Ayelomi, The Idebi of Ayeka kingdom , is as old as Ayeka as the community have been observing and celebrating it from time immemorial. The head of the Ijama in council said the traditional festivity is significant in so many ways and it is one celebration that the people of Ayeka always look forward to . He saluted chiefs and all the stakeholders of Ayeka for their cooperation since the glorious exit of the immediate past Lumure of Ayeka , Late Oba Bode Ayelomi, noting that the people of the town have continued to maintain the peace in the town and its environ.
As early as 6 a m , the “Omo ojas” ( youths), young men , community chiefs, the priests and council of diviners in the town had thronged out in a traditional dance around the town . It is always a walk around every part of the town accompanied with local drumming and acrobatic dance steps. In the course of the walk , prayers are said at every quarter the cultural dance party reached.
A notable significance of Iwo festival this year is that it is the first ever traditional rite to be celebrated by the new Regent of Ayeka kingdom, Princess Barrister Oluyemi Bajowa.
Expressing his view on the festivity, the Lisa of Ayeka kingdom, Chief Babatunde Michael Ayeyowa said he was grateful to God who has made the day possible, noting that a man is empty when he is stripped of his cultural values. Chief Ayeyowa while congratulating the Regent, Princess Oluyemi Bajowa, noted that Ayeka kingdom though lost her king , Oba Bode Ayelomi, a seamless and peaceful transition had taken place and the crown Princess of Oba Ayelomi in a consensus of council of chiefs and kingmakers has emerged as the Regent. Chief Ayeyowa described Late Oba Ayelomi as a bridge builder, a grassroots personage with a strong passion for the growth of Ayeka, stressing that Oba Ayelomi ensured that development happened to Ayeka in his life time.
At about four o’clock PM the chiefs in their flowing white robe and youths of the town in their hundreds returned to the palace of Lumure amidst exciting dance and fanfare. They were received by Her Imperial Majesty , Princess Oluyemi Bajowa, the Regent of Ayeka kingdom . Her dance steps received applause from the crowd as the people watched in admiration ; the Regent welcomed them with prayers and expressed her appreciation for the peaceful conduct of the people since the festival had begun in the morning.
In a chat with thepolity.com.ng, the Regent first and foremost appreciate the Ijamas, the chiefs and the people of Ayeka for reposing such a great trust in her. She noted that she has enjoyed the support of all the high chiefs and every major stakeholder in Ayeka kingdom since she has assumed the throne, promising to create an enabling environment for economic growth of the community.
Princess Bajowa equally noted that she has also enjoyed the support of traditional rulers across Ikale Land , noting that she values a great deal their steadfast cooperation.
Talking about Iwo festival, the Regent said it is the cultural heritage of her people that is annually observed , noting that as Iwo is celebrated, traditional prayers are offered for the growth and peace of the town. She said we all need prayers as individual members of the community and the entire community as a collective and indivisible entity, stressing that Iwo is a laid down traditional festivity of our forefathers hence its celebration with pomp and fanfare.
On the role of women in community development, the London trained Lawyer said our men should endeavor to give our women space to display their God given talent , noting that women in the contemporary society are doing better what men can do. She noted that there should be equal opportunity for both gender to display their quality instinct for the growth of the society.
Princess Oluyemi Bajowa, the wife of the Jagunmolu of Ikale Land, Gen. Olu Bajowa (RTD) is the first female Regent in Ikale Land.