‘Our Language, Culture Must Not Go Into Extinction’ – HRM Oba Adedeji, Owa-Ooye Okemesi …’Ose Festival’ marks to offer thanksgiving to God – Chief Lejua, Ajibade


  • By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti

A prominent traditional ruler in Ekiti State, the Owa-Ooye of Okemesi-Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government, His Royal Majesty, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, JP, CON, Ariyowonye II, has urged all the Yoruba speaking states to value their dialects, cultures and not allow their language to go into extinction.

The traditional ruler who spoke with TopNewsng at his palace observed that the celebration of Isese day would correct the erroneous belief about the African Traditional Religion (ATR) giving adequate and positive enlightenment on the doctrine.


Oba Adedeji, therefore, commended the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other Southwest Governors for declaring Monday, August 21, a work-free day for workers to mark this year’s ‘Isese’ Day.

The ‘Isese’ Day is an annual festival celebrated on every August 20, by the adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion and culture.

HRM Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, JP, CON, the Owa-Ooye of Okemesi-Ekiti.

The monarch said, it behoved on anyone born in Yorubaland to ensure that their children understand and speak Yoruba language fluently because it is a language to value and cherish.

He said, even the whitemen are massively learning Yoruba dialects and culture nowadays. He opined that religion and culture are not the same thing.

High Chief Ilesanmi Ajibade & Chief Odunmorun of Okemesi seated alongside other Chiefs and Amosan during the event.

The former chairman of Traditional Rulers in Ekiti State urged believers of the traditional practice to celebrate with peace, saying “anyone who believes that the African Traditional Religions (ATR) under which ‘Isese’ Festival falls are no more active is deceiving himself”.

He noted that, “Many people who have been converted to other religions from their traditional ones are still affiliated to those religions. That is why many people still have attachments to their cognomen or praise names depicting the heroic deeds of their ancestors to motivate and inspire them towards performing great feats also in their human endeavours.”

The monarch advised the people to continue to study and embrace their traditional values and cultures saying that certain aspects of them could practically enrich their devotions and satisfy their needs.

According to him, “A public officer would not want to tarnish the image or dignity that his or her fore-fathers took ages to build by engaging in corruption and other social and economic vices that could bring disrepute to their linage.

The traditional ruler recalled that over the years, there has been a shift from the condemnatory or negative perception of ATR to a better understanding and appreciation of the values found in it.

According to him it is now a thing of the past when traditionalists were regarded as pagans, cultists, witches, idol worshipers and fortune tellers.

Oba Adedeji urged residents of Okemesi and it’s environs to use the day to pray for the peace and progress for themselves and the society.

Describing the significance of Ose/Yam Festival in Okemesi as a community, the Lejua of Okemesi, High Chief Ilesanmi Ajibade said, the annual event was the celebration of the new yam in the town where thanksgiving is been offered to God for giving the farmers and the community a very good harvest and in the following farming years in the town.

“If you look critically at our culture in Okemesi, you will discover that, it’s a way of appreciating God, a way of getting people together and making yourself happy because immediately they begin, many people will love to come around to eat, drink and merry together and through that there’s no any moment of over-thinking or of bothering oneself with any kind of challenges of life.

“We should not forget our heritage, we should continue celebrating our culture and passing same message from generation to generation so that foreigners will not hijack it from us.

He said that God would not judge anyone on the last day based on his or her religious belief but how he or she kept God’s commandments while on earth and how he or she loved his neighbours.

Chief Ajibade appealed for understanding, perseverance and tolerance from the practitioners of the various religions for peace, love and tranquility to continue to reign in the town and Nigeria in general.

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