By Babatunde Kaka
Oloja of Epe Land, Oba Animashaun Holds Iyanfanran, Ita-Oba Traditional Celebrations to mark Eebi Festival 2022
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EKO HOT BLOG reports that the Oloja of Epe Land and Vice Chairman, Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs, His Royal Majesty, Oba Kamorudeen Ishola Animashaun, held the annual Eebi festival popular among Epe indigenes on Friday 4th March 2022 across several neighbourhoods in the ancient Epe town.
As customary with the highly agrarian community, the length and breadth of Epe town were agog with an array of colourful cultural events which includes “Okoshi”, “Iyanfanran” and “Ita-Oba”, which are spectacular displays of the rich cultural heritage of the Epe people which is as old as the town itself.
This online media platform reports that while the “Okoshi” boat regatta and “Iyanfanran” were held on Friday 4th and Sunday 6th at the sacred “Oju-Alaro” shrine where various age-grade groups displayed exceptional boat regatta, singing dancing and drumming skills, prayers for prosperity and well-being of the people were also offered by the riverside.
The Eebi festival celebrations this year were elaborate across neighbourhoods of celebrants compared to the celebrations in 2021 which was marred by the deadly COVID pandemic.
Oba Animashaun, who was adorned in his resplendent traditional regalia alongside the highly significant “Okooro” (Aleke and Ebode) masquerade, his entire household, traditional chiefs, Olorituns, sons and daughters of Epe, after appeasing the deities and gods at their various ancestral shrines, adorned the streets with music, dance and cultural songs to the delight of visitors who witnessed the event.
This online media platform gathered that the significance of the “Okooro” masquerades during the “Iyanfanran” ritual rites was said to have rescued the good people of Epe during trying periods experienced in the community.
The Ifa divination assured that the calamities would be defeated if the Okooro was brought to town and taken to the river with the burning firewood alongside the King and Chiefs and returned to Oju-Alaro Oke shrine after plucking the “woro” leaves for prayers which paved way for growth and development for the town.
It was gathered that His Royal Majesty Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun displayed unrivalled valour and gallantry during the Ita-Oba day where he danced energetically around the sacred tree 7 times to the traditional gbedu drums to the delight of his fellow invited Kings, the Osugbo and Iji-Nla fraternity members, the Osun worshippers, the townspeople and visitors.
This online media platform gathered that the age-grade groups had several face-offs, altercations and territorial aggression towards one another in their battle for supremacy on the Ita-Oba day which was held at Oju-Alaro oke shrine at Ita-Opo.
The womenfolk were also not left out in the age-grade battles as the males shielded them from aggressions by opposing groups.
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While the Chief Priests of various fraternity groups took turns to offer prayers to the king and the entire gathering, the Oloja of Epe, also offered prayers for the growth and development of the people and the community at large.
The highly dramatic and spectacular “Kilajolu” masquerade festival would hold between Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th, 2022.
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