Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Odela festival – a pagan event was formerly celebrated by all sections of pagan groups whereby the Ijebu-Ode community paid their homage to the Awujale annually , During this occasion , every pagan group viz:- worshippers of sango , egungun, oshun, Yemule etc, would display their identities by dancing to the instruments of the drums and songs one after the other in front of the Awujale , the Olisa and other prominent chiefs and people in the town in an arena before the Awujale palace

Chief Kuku had once been a party to this festival when he was a pagan but since he had become a Muslim and a leader at that time – he could no more join in this annual pagan festival .

For this reason he devised a way by which to replace the annual festival with another that would be in conformity with his new religion , he established “ITA-OBA ‘’ ( NOW CALLED OJUDE OBA) festival and fixed the day of its celebration on the third day after Eid –el- Kabir( Greater Beiram) festival which coincidentally fell on the same day the pagans were celebrating Odela festival .
The reason for the fixture of the event for the third day after Greater Beiran Festival was that on that day after having slaughtered rams on the Greater Beiram day and portions of the meet distributed to relations , friends and well-wishers by all Muslims, It was customary for the recipents of such meat to go round on the third day thanking the givers, This custom was known as Idupe Uru.

Chief Kuku cashed in on the custom and made the occasion an important colourful one, He dressed gorgeously , mounted on a very beautiful horse, preceded by his elderly sons in the persons of Chief Gbadamosi Tayo Kuku, Chief Akadiri Somori Kuku, Chief Ashiru Kuku ( Baba Ajashe) , Salami Owo- gold Kuku, Sunmola Giwa Kuku( Baba Idi – Aba) and Adelaja Kuku all on the horseback , his drummers and singers in pomp and pageantry with several dane guns booming as they move towards the Awujale Palace followed by the Muslim community of Ijebu –Ode .

The occasion were better seen than described, The pagan groups were met at the palace performing their usual dance but when they saw the unprecedented pomp and pageantry of the Muslim community led by Chief Kuku, they all dispersed in confusion, this signaled the end of Odela pagan festival which had thus given way to Muslim community annual Ita- Oba which is now being watched annually by all other sections of the Ijebu community.
In subsequent years horses were springing out from other prominent families in Ijebu-Ode like Chief Odejayi (Balogun) , Chief Odunuga (Balogun and brother to Chief Kuku) Akumayabikan of Porogun and many others.

Thus has come to stay the annual procession of all Ijebu-Ode Muslims to tghe Awujale’s palace to pay homage to their to their oba which event is now known as “OJUDE OBA” Festival.


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