It started well and it ended well. The one week long "2023 Odun Omo Olowu" with the theme "A New Dawn", climaxed on a grand note amid cultural displays by age groups, male female young and old amid singing and dancing.
The grand finale of the 24th edition of the annual celebration held at the Oba Adisa Odeleye Park, Sokori, Abeokuta, the state capital was a splendour.
All Owu sons and daughters, both at home and abroad converged on their yown to celebrate the togetherness that has for past decades became a rallying point for them.
It was spectacular, thrills and fun as traditional dancers accompanied by masqueraders, igunnuko and traditional worshippers.
While it lasted men and women, young and old buried their religious differences paying obience to the Olowu of Owu, Oba Saka Matemilola, the Otileta VI who decked in a high grade "Aso Oke".
As the 10th Olowu in Abeokuta, it was his second celebration of the festival that was inaugurated years past.
Members of the popular Egbeyemi dynasty of Oke Ago-Owu literarily stole the show among other families.
Prominent Owu sons and daughters played host to their guests at their different compounds after the formal declaration of the festival by Oba Matemilola.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Retired Army General Opaleye, Chief Doja Adewolu, Chief Niyi Adegbenro, Osi Owu, Chief Olu Fatoki, Oganla of Owu among others celebrated the festival with their family members, friends as well as their guests.
Before the finale, there were other activities including press conference, seminars, visitations to Owu communities as well as confernment of chieftaincy titles on deserving individuals.
In his remarks, the Olowu of Owu, Oba Saka Matemilola, commended Governor Abiodun for his love for culture and tradition.
The monarch called for the quick resolution of conflicts among sons and daughters Owu for the rapid development of Egbaland, Ogun State and the country as a whole.
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun also graced the occasion along with some of his cabinet members as well as the Senator representing Ogun Central, Alhaji Shuaib and the Federal House of Representatives member, Hon. Olumide Osoba.
During the event, Abiodun promised that construction works would soon commence on the old Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway
Abiodun who described the Odun Omo Owu celebration as a veritable platform to showcase the rich culture of the Owu people, noted that in Yoruba history, they have demonstrated bravery, strength of character and cognitive capacity, adding that the kingdom has produced notable Nigerians who have made meaningful impact locally and internationally.
“Let me make it abundantly clear that the contemporary history of Yoruba race is completely inchoate without the role of the Owu Kingdom, especially in the early 19th century downward.
“It is a thing of joy today that despite the temporary setback of those days, the people of Owu has proudly created a common cultural identity and distinct heritage within the Nigeria’s political space, especially in the South West.
“Meanwhile, in every analysis and discuss about the people of Owu and their peculiar attributes, one trait continues to be uppermost and dominant, and that is the sense of courage; you can not find any Owu man or woman without courage.”
The governor also disclosed that his administration had commenced the construction of a Dry Port at Kajola whose multiplying effects would further open up the state for investments.
According to him, the convertion of the mass buses to CNG, was part of the palliative measures taken to lessen the effects of fuel subsidy removal boasting that the state remains the first in the country to record such achievement.
“We have also invested heavily in security, thus making Ogun State one of the safest and most suitable states for investment to thrive in Nigeria. This has tremendously helped us to curtail pockets of violence across the state, especially the recent cult clashes at Sagamu.
“Without any fear of contradiction, Kabiyesi and distinguished guests here present, I can boldly say that as at today, we have perhaps the most conducive environment and adequate infrastructural development models that ensure that Ogun State is the safest place to live, work and do business and we are proud as a Government on this feat.
“We are happy because our commitment, initiatives, vision, dedication, resolute and our refusal to be distracted by treacherous politicians and backstabbers have continued to yield positive results, as existing businesses are thriving while new investments are being attracted in multitude into our dear State.”
While describing the theme of the festival as apt, Abiodun said the nation had witnessed a new dawn with the recent judgement of the Supreme Court that reaffirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.
He noted that the nation would soon take her rightful position in the comity of nations as a result of the various policies introduced to reshaping the nation’s economy.