By NBF News

Akure, capital of Ondo State, is blessed with rich cultural festivals. In fact, no month passes without a festival being celebrated. The celebration of such festival always takes place at the Deji of Akure's Palace with traditional chiefs and prominent indigenes in attendance.

While some festivals are done to promote and sustain the rich cultutral heritage of the Akures otherwise known as 'Omo Oloyemekun', some are used to offer prayers for peace to reign in the land.

The lists of the festivals are endless. Often times they are always spiced up with traditional dance. Some of the festivals being are: Imoroko, Ifa Deji, Iwesu, Olokun, Ikunle Olokun, Aregbe, Amole, Ijesu Oba, Eruowa and Ogun Ijesha. Others are, Ifa Osinmo, Owa Oropo, Ogun Obinrin, Ijade Ile Ifunta, Idemunu, Iponriesi, Imoroko and many others.

One unique thing about these festivals is that Akure indigenes always take the festival with all seriousness most especially those will believe that the rich cultural heritage of Akure should not be allowed to sink into oblivion. Two of the town festivals were celebrated recently. Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida, who ascended the throne almost year ago was actively involved in the two festivals namely: Ogun Ijesa and Ikunle Olokun.

For the Ikunle Olokun, it was celebrated in three batches with three cows slaughtered to appease the gods of the land. The cows were killed at different stages of the festival. The palace chiefs clad in white attire moved round the palace to great Oba Adesida.

Thereafter, the high chiefs according to their titles moved towards the Oba to collect kola nuts from him before others who also moved towards the king to prostrate for him. Ditto for the past oloris Shortly after that the Omo Owas, people from the Adesida Royal family also came out to salute the king as a mark of honour.

In like manner, the Ogun Ijesa was celebrated few days later in a glamorous manner. Ogun Ijesa is old as the throne. It was first celebrated by the first Deji, Oba Asodeboyede. Oba Adesida urged those present not to allow the rich cultural values of  Akure to fade out due to the high level of civilization. The monarch noted that any society that neglects its culture would always find it difficult to move forward.

He advised indigenes of Akure both at home and in the Diaspora to come and develop Akure to an enviable status. He tasked the indigenes to work in unity in respective of their political parties: 'I want to appeal to indigenes of Akure both at home and in the Diaspora to come home and develop Akure. Akure as a town needs more industries.

'They should put their political parties aside and work together for the development of Akure. Our town must move forward irrespective of your political parties.

'It is on record that the present administration is trying its best in transforming Akure to a mega city. The government is beautifying Akure which should be commended by all Akure indigenes. Some of our festivals can be turned to international one if we can have corporate organizations can rise up to the occasion.'