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Olojo Festival: Prioritise economic growth above merriment, Buhari urges faithful

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… promises improved security before 2022 ending

Blessing Akorowosi, Osogbo

As the people of Ile-Ife in Osun State celebrate Olojo Festival 2022, the indigenes were charged to enhance the nation’s economy through their traditions.

President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola at the ceremony on Saturday, stated that such festival should be to showcase farm produce and artisans’ works rather than mere merriment.

He said, “this festival should be used to display our trades and works. If we can all return to the former way, this kind of festival is used for the development of agriculture, display of farm produce and success of artisans.

“It is not just for fun alone. There is nothing like enjoyment without work. Work is the antidote of poverty. We should all take our professions seriously.

Speaking on the security state of the nation, the president promised to improve the nation’s security with evident changes before the year ends.

He however, charged citizens to be vigilant and report strange movements, stressing that security is a collective responsibility.

“Be vigilant, if you leave the security work for just security agencies, we will have security challenges. All of us must take seriously security issue. The government is doing its part. By God’s grace, Before the end of the year, all the security issues we are encountering will be over.

“Kindly cooperate with the security agencies. Whenever we see strange faces, don’t delay in reporting such to security men so that there can be firm security,” Buhari said.

In his remarks, Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola stated that the significance of the Olojo festival is in tandem with the philosophy of his administration.

Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Benedict Alabi assured that the government will continue to support culture and tourism which has the capacity of boosting the economy of the state.

“I congratulate His Imperial Majesty on the successful completion of the rites and the grand finale of this year’s festival. I thank the Ooni for his sacrifices and for interfacing with the ancestors to perform all the necessary cleansing, productivity, security, and other rites for the benefit of the black race in particular and mankind in general.

“The significance of this festival is in tandem with the philosophy of our administration, as we strongly believe that State economy should be repositioned by giving a boost to cultural-tourism promotion with a view to driving meaningful youth employment, creating wealth, and preserving our cultural heritage, among others.

“As we celebrate this year’s edition of the festival, I enjoin all and sundry to intensify efforts to preserve our cultural heritage, entrench peaceful-co-existence, eschew political bitterness, and always be our brothers’ keepers,” he said.

At the event, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II was flanked by his new wife, Olori Mariam Ogunwusi as he received guests and tourists across the globe.

He appreciated the people and promised to continually protect their interest as well as promote the traditions of Yoruba land.

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