The stage was promptly set at about 10am on Monday 26th July, 2021 as religious leaders from Christianity, Islam and Traditional sects joined the Elegboro of Ijebu-Jesa at the centre of the town to pour blessings on the citizens and indeed, every residents of the kingdom.
Several prayers were offered in turn as they faced the four cardinal axis of the ancient towns proclaiming divine intervention on the community.
Thereafter, the Elegboro and his council of chiefs were accompanied to the palace by the yam sellers association decked in their wine coloured aso-oke gele over white attires to mark the beginning of the grand finale of the 2021 New Yam festivities.
Much later, at noon, after the Looguns have completed their traditional rites with the ‘Agada’ drums and their staff of office, the procession of the Elegboro-in-Council left the palace for the abode of the Obalorisa for further traditional rites and prayers amidst funfairs and widespread ecstasy.
Elegboro then moved to the centre of the town wearing the ancient crown and used a tuber of yam to offer symbolic prayers for farmers, traders, hunters, artisans, and all sons and daughters of Egboro land in general.
The train then moved to the I.K Dairo Park where cultural exhibitions by the different ethnic groups in the town were performed. The Igbos, the Igede and Tivs community, the Hausa, the Fulani and the Ilorin ethnic groups dwelling in Ijebu-Jesa all displayed their traditional dances.
Colour, glamour and fun were added to this year’s edition of the festival as over 400 tubers of yam were cooked in six different locations of the town where everyone had a fill in the spirit of oneness and in appreciation to Almighty God for a new season.
While expressing his happiness, a visibly elated Elegboro, HRM Oba (Engr.) Moses Oluwafemi Agunsoye thanked the planning committee for organising such a befitting event which he believes will help reawaken cultural activities in the community.
Speaking on the event, the Chairman of the New Yam Planning Committee, Mr Sunday Adedeji Fasosin eulogised the selfless contributions of every member of the committee which ensured the success recorded. He further noted that the community has a desire to put the Egboro New Yam Festival on global map as a major cultural event by the people of Ijebu-Jesa. He added that the next edition promises to be bigger and better organised.
The New Yam Festival in Egboro land is celebrated in phases. The Obalorisa is the first to herald the new yam season as Agada drum is used at midnight to announce his journey to the farm to pick new yams. Days after, the Ijiku clan who are the custodians of the Iroko Oja (as headed by the Sajiku or Oniroko) will then pick their new yams. All of these must be observed and the traditional rites performed before new yams can be sold openly in the market in Ijebu-Jesa.
This age-long tradition has been sustained for years and has been carefully passed down from generations to generations. Oba Agunsoye has added flair and funfair to the festival towards making it a globally acceptable cultural event