The annual Oranyan Festival of the Oyo kingdom is taking a slightly different shape this year with a theme taking it beyond the celebration of culture to security matters.
Organisers disclosed on Monday that a retired Army General, Ajibola Kunle Togun; Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of zone 11, Osogbo, Leye Oyebade and Alaga ode Alaafin, Ogunbayonle Ojo will lead a security summit to address how the collaboration between the police and local hunters can help solve the security challenges in Yorubaland.
The Coordinator of Oranyan Festival Organisation, Archbishop Emeritus Ayo Ladigbolu made this known on Monday in Oyo while speaking during the commencement of activities for the festival at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo.
He stated that Oranyan festival has moved from just being a cultural event to a programme that gives systematic attention to themes relevant to nation building and an informed society.
He said the theme for this year’s celebration which is “The imperatives of Security for the Socio-Cultural and Economic Development of the Yoruba community,” was specifically and strategically chosen due to the current security challenge bedeviling the country.
His words:”Security is a global concern and we all know what is happening in Nigeria at the moment. That is why we are bringing security experts like retired General Ajibola Kunle Togun, AIG Leye Oyebade of the Nigeria Police zone 11 and Alaga ode Alaafin, Ogunbayonle Ojo to come and tell to come and address us at a one day summit at Atiba Hall on Thursday, September 12 on how we can localize ssecurity.
“If security is localized, with the police working with the hunters in our community, it will have ripple effect on the state and Nigeria as a whole.”
Ladigbolu explained that asides the security summit, there are a lot of programmes such as Oranyan beauty pageant, free medical outreach, historical cities day, Arts and Crafts exhibition, Yoruba quiz competition among secondary schools, Ayo olopon and dundun dance competition that will come up in the week-long celebration.
He added that all the tourist sites would be opened during the festival, urging people to learn about their ancestral history by visiting the sites.
Earlier, the Basorun of Oyo and leader of the Oyo mesi, High Chief Yusuf Olayinka, said the security challenge in the South West is of big concern to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
He said:” How to stem the insecurity in the South West is what is important to Kabiyesi. Kabiyesi always says that there can be no socio-economic development in any community if there is no peace and if the people are fearful in carrying out their daily activities.”
The Oranyan festival is an annual event to celebrate Oranyan in the ancient town of Oyo. The week-long event, which attracts Yoruba sons and daughters, celebrates the culture and tradition of Oyo people, especially its first Alaafin, Oranyan and it is hosted by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.