The people of Ile-Ife in Osun State will celebrate Oranmiyan in a three-day programme starting on Monday, August 26, 2013.
Oranmiyan was said to be the only Yoruba King that was confirmed to have established other towns like Oyo and Benin, became their King and later returned to his abode in Ife, also to be crowned King before his eventual transformation, as denoted in the Oranmiyan Cenotaph.
Speaking in preparation of the event, Oba Abimbola Akinyele, the Olu of Famia Ife, said the celebration is to make some clarification, especially to those claiming the Oranmiyan deity as theirs.
Over the years, the Oranmiyan Cenotaph has drawn million of tourists to Ile-Ife and has continued to do same. Oranmiyan worship is a religion to some in Yoruba land, who visit the Cenotaph to pay homage and reverence to the deity.
History has it that Oranmiyan was one of the seven sons of Okanbi, the only child of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba.
Oranmiyan, despite being the grandson of Oduduwa was the pioneer Alaafin of Oyo. He was famed as a strong enigmatic leader, who led his people onto a path of greatness that lasted several centuries, leaving a heritage that lasts till today.
After establishing Oyo, he left and conquered the Benin people and again founded the Benin Kingdom. After several wars and conquests, Oranmiyan returned to Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba and was the 4th Ooni of Ife.
The festival, which has received the approval of the Ooni of Ife, Alaiyeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade, will bring all Ife indigenes and the entire Yoruba at home and in diaspora like Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cuba, United States of America together.
Former minister of Agriculture, Engineer Basheer Awoterebo, at a press conference in Ile-Ife said that different programmes have been lined up to enrich the festival.
According to hi$, the festival which will be used to bring to limelight the unique and binding tradition for the Yoruba people, will feature a paper presentation with the theme, ‘What is the name?” to be delivered by a renowned professor of history.
Other activities expected to add glamour to the occasion will be quiz competition, traditional procession, and vacant space for traders to display their wares as well as homage to be paid to the Ooni of Ife, Imperial Majesty Oba Okunade Sijuade.
Author(s): Godwin Akanfe