PHOTOS: Colours, glamour on display at 2024 Ojude Oba festival

Ojude Oba — meaning the king’s forecourt — is an important annual festival for the Yoruba people, particularly the Ijebu community in Ogun state.

The cultural and historical event is celebrated every third day after the annual Eid-el-Kabir festival. It is regarded as one of the biggest and most consistent cultural events in the South West, Nigeria.

During this year’s edition on Tuesday, different cultural age groups — known as regberegbe and composed of indigenes, their friends, and associates — parade at the front courtyard of the king’s palace.

The parade was also an opportunity for them to showcase their rich cultural fashion and heritage of the Ijebu people.

The festival is overseen by Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun governor, said he plans to make the Ojude Oba festival “global, attracting national and international audiences”.

Abiodun described Ojude Oba as “a symbol of unity and rallying point for the Ijebu people”.

He also appreciated President Bola Tinubu for his decision “to include the festival in UNESCO’s world cultural heritage”.

“We are poised to make the Ojude Oba festival a global event. Speaking at the 2024 Ojude Oba Festival in Ijebu-Ode, we highlighted the festival’s growth from a local gathering to an event attracting national and international audiences,” he said in a statement on X.

“The festival, now a significant cultural heritage event, attracts both local and foreign tourists to Ogun State, showcasing our hospitality and rich traditions. It symbolises our unity and serves as a rallying point for the Ijebu people to celebrate our culture and revered monarch, promoting the development of Ijebuland and preserving our traditions for future generations.

“We are committed to making this festival a permanent fixture in the global tourism industry and expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support, including plans to include the festival in UNESCO’s world cultural heritage. We emphasised our dedication to creating a conducive environment for business and called for unity and harmony among the state’s people to build a prosperous future.

“The state government will continue to foster community development and solicit support for the upcoming 20th National Sports Festival, Gateway Games 2024, part of which will be hosted in Ijebu-Ode.”

See some of the photos below:

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