FG Need to Improve Osun Osogbo Festival

FG Need to Improve Osun Osogbo Festival: A foreign tourist from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Albert Ghrid last Friday called on the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisations (UNESCO) and the Federal Government of Nigeria, to commit more resources to the development of Osun Osogbo groove. He stated that the commitment of the two bodies, state government and other stakeholders in Nigeria will attract foreign investors to tourism sector. Ghrid, who is the Executive Secretary of "Brutuhus Aquarium and Tourism Foundation" Sydney, urged stakeholders, while speaking with OSUN DEFENDER at Laro Primary School, where members of Odua People's Congress (OPC) held their Osun Osogbo Festival party.

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Osun Osogbo Festival

Osun Osogbo Sacred GroveOsun-Osogbo or Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove is a sacred forest along the banks of the Oshun River just outside the city of Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. The Osun-Osogbo Grove is among the last of the sacred forests which usually adjoined the edges of most Yoruba cities before extensive urbanization. Osun-Osgogbo festival is celebrated every year. Osun- worshippers come from all walks of life to celebrate this day. In recognition of its global significance and its cultural value, the Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

He described the annual ritual as one he will never want to miss for the rest of his life, saying; "I have been attending this festival for the past twelve years. It is our collective yearly traditional rite". "Osun Osogbo festival is not meant for this region or Nigeria alone. It is for all traditionalists across the globe. Those who could not travel to Nigeria are celebrating it in their various countries, especially in Australia, where they are celebrating it elaborately".

Ghrid stressed that he noticed slight development, but arguing that there was still need for improvement to attract investors, especially in the area of beautification, recreational facilities and modern infrastructure.

Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove Heritage
Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove

"While I agree with the natural preservation of the shrine and the river, Government of Nigeria and UNESCO have to commit more resources to build attractive structures, that is when the foreign investors can partner with the state, as it is now, it may be so difficult for someone like me to invest thousands of dollars here because is still just an annual event".

He mentioned Sydney Mint Museum Building, Manly Beach, Bondi Beach, where there are attractive buildings, supermarkets, art shops and aquarium that will compel the international tourists to visit.

The members of Odua People's Congress (OPC), led by its leader, Otunba Gani Adams also added glamour to the festival with Apala Music Band of Oluwole Orimimakore, while the congress also performed traditional rituals offering a pure white ram.

The 2012 Miss Olokun, winner of the annual beauty pageant of OPC, Miss Ogunyele Funmilola, who was accompanied by the 2011 winner of the pageant, also lauded the festival.

However, there was a clash between the members of the OPC and the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, which left four people seriously wounded. It took the intervention of the Swift Action Squad (SAS) and Osun State command of OPC, to save the situation from degenerating.

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