The Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi, on Saturday urged indigenes of Offa, especially the youths, to reflect on the significance of the Ijakadi Festival by promoting the culture of equity and fairness.
Gbadamosi made the plea in a good-will message he delivered at the 2019 Ijakadi Festival held in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara.
The monarch said the culture of “equity and fairness” as championed by Offa forefathers needed to be resuscitated, adding that this informed the institution of the annual Ijakadi Festival.
According to him, the symbolic equity and fairness the festival represented must be imbibed by the youths for the purpose of appreciating the norm of survival of the fittest as they grow up in their various fields of endeavours.
He noted that the festival, which continued to attract national attention, had the capacity to foster unity and harmonious relationship among indigenes and non-indigenes alike
Gbadamosi said: “The culture of equity and fairness as passed down by our forefathers needed to be resucitated and imbibed by our teeming youths for their survival in their various fileds.
“A more important point is to foster peaceful co-existence in Offa community in particular and its environs as a whole.
“There is no gainsaying that an event of this nature is not only for the building of rapport and reinforcing of bonds among the citizenry.
“This not only through reflecting on contemporary values, but also for the promotion of economic activities within the community during the festival.
“These have gradually and consistently been showcased with the last eight years of the festival.
“We will continue to build on our efforts until the best is achieved for our community.”
Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, in his remarks, expressed the state’s readiness to synergise with communities and corporate entities in developing the state’s culture and toursim potentials.
He described the festival as a veritable platform for attracting the required investment into the state.
The governor said structures in Offa Grammar School were to be renovated while the Tipper Garage-Amuyo- Adesoye road in the community would be rehabilitated.
Also speaking, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, represented by Mr Segun Adeyemi, Kwara State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), commended the community for successfully hosting the eighth edition of the festival.
Mohammed said the festival like other similar events such as Eyo Festival in Lagos, Argungun fishing festival in Kebbi and Osun Osogbo Festival had the potential to attract tourists and the desired foreign exchange earnings for the country if well harnessed.
Dr Funsho Oladipo, the President of Offa Descendants Union (UDU), in his address of welcome, said the event had been transformed, spiced and repackaged.
He said his administration was committed to the implementation of a 10-year blueprint for Offa development which should transform the community into a modern city if well implemented.
“This has been carefully mapped out without the city losing its rich cultural identity.
“In the last one year, we have laid the foundation for this through the formation of the various administrative bodies that would midwife the implementation,” he said.
He urged all indigenes to contribute their quota to the growth, progress and socio-economic development of Offa.