By Ayesoro Oluwaseun
The Kokotiri (11) of Ijare in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Engr. Oluwagbamigbe Adegbemigun has urged the people in his domain to remain peaceful in order to attract development to the ancient community.
The monarch spoke with Community Hope recently during the annual community new yam festival which attracted eminent personalities within and outside the state.
He said development will thrive in an environment devoid of rancour and acrimony, stressing that indigenes of the community should contribute to the progress of the town.
Oba Adegbemigun noted that because of the economic situation in the country, it is no more realistic to depend on government to develop various communities.
He observed that each community now goes on self-help projects, urging his subjects at home and in diaspora to contribute their quota in lifting Ijare town while he hailed them for their support.
He pledged to sustain the peace in the community, stressing that security of lives and property will be his topmost priority with the assistance of security agencies.
Community Hope reports that a week before the new yam celebration, there was no room for beans cake making in the town by its inhabitants except the Oba obinrin, the Osemowe of Ijare land, Chief (Mrs) Idowu Joshua who will make the beans cake and distribute to the people of the town free of charge.
This year’s event kicked off with the women chiefs led by the Osemowe dancing round the entire streets of the town in a uniform attire. Traditionally at 10pm, the king came out with ‘Otunfon’ on his head joined by the indigenes of the town and dance round to commence the new yam festival.
According to the Kokotiri (11) of Ijare land, “In Ijare town, chiefs eat new yam a day after the festival while the king waits for the next thirteen days before he can eat new yam. What makes Ijare new yam festival different from other towns is the use of ‘Opa’ during the festival. Some towns celebrate Opa festival and also new yam festival separately, but in the case of Ijare, it is different. This does not mean that it is two in one festival. The King acclaimed that the canning activity awakes the youth.
The Asao of Ijare land, High Chief Olakitan Oladele he expressed joy at how the people allowed peace to reign during the period of the festival and their turn out to celebrate with their King.
He called for peace amongst Christians, Muslims and the traditionalists in the community, while advising the state and local government to provide infrastructural facilities for the comfort of the people.
The Osemowe of Ijare land also charged the people especially women to always be supportive to their spouses, saying that the annual new yam festival celebration marks the reward for hardworking.