Palace Watch

My priority is to make Iba tourism haven, says king

Mountain-climbing Eburu, His Royal Majesty Oba (Professor) Adekunle Adeogun-Okunoye Oyedeji II, speaks.

By Gabriel Omonhinmin

It is strange and very rare to see a first-class traditional ruler, who makes mountain-,climbing a hobby in this part of Africa.
Interestingly, the young and energetic Eburu of Iba, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Professor) Adekunle Adeogun-Okunoye Oyedeji II in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State, Nigeria, routinely climbs some of the 21 mountains that surround his town.

In a deliberate effort to make these spots attractive to some of his Chiefs, subjects and visitors to Iba town, the traditional ruler decided to organize this year’s St Valentine day, at the summit of one of the mountains in the town. Surprisingly, the February 14th 2022 Valentine Mountain Picnic as it was tagged drew a large crowd from within and outside Osun state.

It was very well attended and attracted a lot of people both young and old, who were all donned in different pairs of Jeans trousers, T-Shirts and canvas to match. They carefully navigated their ways from the basement of the mountain to the summit where the picnic was held. Picnickers came from major cities of the country to attend the event.

The Valentine Mountain Picnic on that day had events such as Mountain Top Love Tales, Love and Karaoke, Love camping BBQ, Mountaineering, Music, Entertainment, Refreshment and Fun. The Eburu of Iba was quick to tell picnickers the true meaning of picnic, he says, “Picnic is an outing or occasion that involves taking a packed meal to be eaten outdoors. Therefore, anyone coming for the event, should not forget to pack everything he or she needs, except such a person would want to patronize Iba local vendors.

It was therefore not a surprise, when a large number of fun-loving Nigerians gathered at the Iyaniwura Palace, the point where the Picnickers took off to climb the mountain.

The traditional ruler, who was a University lecturer in one of the higher institutions in the United States of America, before he was called back home six years ago by his people to ascend the throne of his ancestors as king, says he has long resolved to cue into the cultural and tourism policies of Osun state to make his town Iba, one of the best tourism destinations in Nigeria.

He told Palace Watch, there is nothing to be ashamed about as a traditional ruler to engage in regular mountain climbing. Stressing that, if most traditional rulers across the country know the enormous benefits derivable from this particular aspect of sports, they will, without any hesitation whatsoever, join me here for the exercise weekly. He continued, a mountain climber is usually as fit as the rock he climbs. At the summit of any mountain, there are usually minerals that are very good for the health of the climber, which are not too common in the basement of the mountain.

His Royal Majesty Adekunle Adeogun-Okunoye Oyedeji II, added that there are divine reasons why our ancestors were directed to pitch their tents in this particular location in present day Osun State, when they first migrated from their ancestral homes in Ile-Ife, they did not just settle in this place in Iba. My ancestors’ first settlement in a place very close to Iba, it was after a short while they were finally directed after due divination to relocate and settle in this particular surrounding, made up of rocks and mountains.

Ever since, for centuries now, we have had peace and prosperity in all shapes of life in this very place. My people have prospered as farmers, hunters, traders and educationists.
As the traditional ruler of Iba, I have decided to bring my years of exposure to bear in the rulership of this town. We must all do our very best to develop this town, no matter the odds. Before this very event, sometimes in December 11, 2021, we had the Oriki Yoruba festival in Iba, the Osun State Governor His Excellency Adeboyega Oyetola, who was our special guest at the occasion said, “Oriki occupies a great significant place in the lives, tradition and culture of the Yoruba people. It is a means of identifying different clans of Yoruba and understanding the people’s lineage or pedigrees of an individual. He continued, “Oriki is often used to praise, encourage or persuade an individual to act more. It is also seen as a compassionate force that subconsciously exerts a stimulating vigour upon the person being targeted. In another clime, Oriki is seen as medicine for the soul.”

From His Excellency remarks at the occasion, it became very clear to all, who were present at the event that Oriki festival being celebrated at this point of the Osun state history, is to bring back the disappearing cultural values and norms, this could not have come at a better time. We introduce this programme to intensify efforts to bring all hands on deck to revive, promote and propagate the rich cultural potentials in the various communities across Osun state in particular and Yoruba land in general. So, the Eburu Adekunle Yoruba Cultural Renaissance has come to stay.

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