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Eko-Ende Celebrates Otin Eko festival In Grand Style



By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo

This year Otin Eko Festival was celebrated in a grand style with sons and daughters of Eko-Ende trooped out enmass to celebrate with His Royal Highness, the Elende of Eko-Ende Oba Abdul-Rauf Olaniyan Ajiboye.

This year Otin Eko festival was held on Thursday 19th August, 2021.

The Otin River is a river in Osun State, Nigeria. It is impounded by the Eko-Ende Dam.

According to Yoruba mythology, the orisha Otin is personified in the Otin River.

Eko-Ende is an ancient town, Ifelodun local government area of Osun State, Nigeria.

Otin Eko Festival is the first largest celebrated festival in the Ifelodun local government area with direct connection to the protection, development and survival of the people of the town.

This, where sacrifices were made to goddess of rival to bless everyone in the town and her environs.

Devotees at the Otin festival believe that the sacred grove forest, situated on the outskirts of the town, is one of the last remaining places that the spirits, or “Orishas” reveal themselves to bless them.

The festival is marked with daily performances of people dancing, singing, playing the drums and showing off elaborate costumes to appease Otin Eko Rival, the goddess of fertility.

The main attraction of the festival is the Arugba, a virgin maiden who is supposed to help the people communicate with the deity, who leads a procession of devotees to offer sacrifices to the river.

The Arugba, also known as the ‘calabash carrier’, has a large calabash wrapped with white cloth on her head.

It contains the sacrifices of the entire community and those offered by the people in attendance.

Every Arugba has to remain a virgin during her time in the role.

The grove has been a sacred area of worship for the spirit’s devotees ever since.

During the festival, Elende wore crown made of beads and prayed for the peace and development of the town.

He prayed for the peaceful coexistence of the people of Eko-Ende and State of Osun.

Speaking with Journalist during the festival, the Elende of Eko-Ende, His Royal Highness, Oba Rauf Olaniyan said, Otin festival is symbolic to the people of the ancient town.

Oba Olaniyan emphasised that, the festival marks eating of new yam in the town as no one dare eat new yam before celebration of Otin festival.

According to him, all the indigenes of the town do come home to offer sacrifices to Otin goddess and tender their supplications before her.

“Otin Eko is very dear to us in Eko-Ende as our progenitor, we do offer sacrifices to her yearly for peace, mercy and tranqulity in our land”

Oba Olaniyan also used the occasion to offered special prayer for His Excellency Governor Gboyega Oyetola that God may be with him and aide on delivery of his campaign promises .

He applauded governor Oyetola for rehabilitating long abandoned Ikirun/Eko-Ende road amidst of paucity of fund, urging him not to relent in his oars of taking the state to an enviable height.

Oba Olaniyan also implored the state government to list the annual Otin Eko festival as one of Osun tourist site, hence take proper charge of it’s celebration.

He however urged the residents of the town to continue to support the Governor in his bid to transform the state.

The Monarch concluded that with all hands on board reaching the promise land is certain.

Speaking in same vein, the chairman of Ifelodun North Local Council Development Area, Hon. Adeniyi Olaniyan pledged unalloyed support of the council area in boosting the annual celebration.

Hon. Olaniyan said, having such an historic festival in the council will equally boost the internally generated Revenue of the council area, adding that, his administration will do all within it’s reach to ensure adequate promotion of the festival.

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