All roads lead to the ancient city of Ile-Ife believed to be the cradle of humanity as the Arole Oodua & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II will on Monday 24th February 2020 lead thousands of Ife indigenes, market men and women, tourists, financial experts and business tycoons from across Nigeria and abroad to celebrate the 2020 edition of Aje festival.
Reports from the Ile-Oodua palace of the Ooni confirmed the organizers of this year’s AJE festival led by Dr Toyin Kolade are not leaving any stone unturned with top gear preparations to enable Ooni Ogunwusi host this year’s edition of the annual AJE FESTIVAL expected to be attended by both local and international participants in a more remarkable way.
Speaking on behalf of the Ooni who is the natural head of the Oduduwa race globally, his Director of Media & Public Affairs Comrade Moses Olafare said in a press release that not less than twenty Africans in diaspora like Cubans Brazilians and Americans have confirmed their flight tickets to arrive Nigeria this weekend to take part in the festival on Monday.
“The 2020 AJE FESTIVAL Planning Committee ably led by Princess(Dr) Toyin Kolade are working assiduously with the Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula to ensure a better and more superlative edition of the festival this year with several foreigners coming to participate, especially from Cuba, Brazil and America. Olafare said.
According to Princess Toyin Kolade captured in the statement, Ooni Ogunwusi with white pigeons in his hands will lead the procession of participants from the palace ‘Ile Oodua’ to the Aje shrine known ‘Idi Aje’, located a kilometer away from the palace right inside the Ejigbomekun market believed to be oldest market in the world where prayers for economic and commercial prosperity of the Oduduwa race worldwide and Nigeria in particular will be made, after which the pigeons are released into the air.
“Iyalaje Toyin Kolade last Saturday led her committee to brief His Majesty the Ooni that not less than twenty Africans in diaspora have already confirmed their flight tickets to arrive Lagos before Saturday from where they will be conveyed to Ile-Ife for the Aje festival holding on Monday which will witness a long procession by the the participants to be led by the Ooni himself holding some pigeons in his hands which will be released into the air after prayers are offered at the shrine(Idi Aje)”. Olafare said.
The statement added that as one of the 401 gods and goddesses like Ogun(iron), Osun(water), Kori(children) and Orunmila(divination) Aje is a deity in charge of wealth and economic prosperity with great positive influence on the world’s economy.
“The deity of AJE is in charge of wealth, commerce and economy just like Ogun is in charge of iron and Osun is in charge of waters. The festival annually holds on a Monday traditionally known as ‘Ojo Aje’ in Yoruba parlance. During this Aje Festival, participants including foreign tourists, business men and women would purchase a white pigeon each, this is symbolic of purity and peace.” Olafare added
It will be recalled that Princess Kolade led a royal team to Brazil in August last advancing the cause of AJE FESTIVAL where fruitful discussions and meetings were held with government of the city of RIO and other cultural tourism stakeholders for collaboration on the festival in furtherance of the Cultural Tourism Revolution Agenda of the Arole Oodua’Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife & Traditional Head of the Yoruba race globally.
The activities of 2020 edition of ODUN AJE will be climaxed with a dinner party at the banquet hall of the palace where guests and the foreign tourists will be entertained by the Apala music maestro, Musiliu Aruna Isola.
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OONI of Ife urges government to raise living standards through favorable economic policies
The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has charged governments at all levels to raise the standard of living of its citizens by spreading wealth through trade and investment policies.
The Ooni, who is Co-Chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) gave the charge during the 2020 edition of the annual celebration of Aje Festival at his Ile-Oodua palace, on Monday in Ile-Ife.
Ooni Ogunwusi who is the natural father of the entire Yoruba race worldwide decried the current economic condition of the country which he described as pathetic, adding that the country’s wealth must be be enjoyable to all Nigerians.
“As it stands today, Nigeria has a population of few men and women controlling the economy while countless others are languishing in poverty. We cannot continue like this.
“For us to progress as a country, we must ensure that our wealth goes round especially to the poor and other vulnerable members of the society. We cannot keep having strikingly rich few Nigerians and uncountable ones wallowing in abject poverty.” The Ooni decried.
While explaining the basis for the Aje Festival celebrations, the African foremost monarch explained that it is a unique way through which the Yoruba people globally remember the deity which is known for wealth and riches.
“Aje is a deity which is known for wealth and riches. Its annual celebration as you have witnessed today is to acknowledge its relevance to us as people, especially its indispensable nature to us.
“Did you see the struggle for it during the procession to and from the Aje temple? That is the spirit of Aje, all of us are not rich because it is not easy to accumulate wealth.
“We are not devaluing the currency by spraying it to our people, we only do it on a special day like this to spread happiness. In the olden days, it was cowries, sometimes ago it was coins, nowadays it is naira notes and we hold it in a very high esteem.” The Ooni noted.
Coordinator of Aje Festival, Princess Toyin Kolade while briefing newsmen expressed happiness for the massive turnout of participants from within and outside Nigeria. She thanked the Ooni for the opportunity, pledging her commitment to the development of the prestigious Yoruba cultural heritage.
Similarly, the Lowa Adimula of Ife, High Chief Adekola Adeyeye, described the 2020 Aje festival celebration as the best in history, thanking the Ooni for uphold the cultural values of Ile Ife and Yorubaland. He added that the Ooni has rebranded the ancient city positively to the world, praying that God Almighty will support him in realising the greater Ife Kingdom of his dream.
Speaking on behalf of the international participants, Mr. Rodrigo Abdon from Brazil described the festival as awesome representation of the African rich cultural heritage.
“What I see here today has further represented the economic potentials of the enviable Yoruba cultural heritage and Africa at large. I see arts, I see dance, I see music, I see paintings and many others like we have in Brazil. The people are also receptive, very accommodating and it shows the good nature of the land. We are really feeling at home”Mr. Rodrigo noted.
The former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Consular General of Brazilian Embassy in Nigeria, Helge’s Samuel Bandeira, several traditional rulers and Nollywood stars including Adewale Eleso, Iya Rainbow, Lanre Hassan(Iya Awero) and Saheed Balogun others dignitaries witnessed the event while the Apala music maestro, Musiliu Haruna Isola thrilled the guests.
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