The bank said this has been the rationale behind its decade long support for the annual Ojude Oba Festival, a carnival-like celebration of the traditional, cultural, spiritual, economic and other accomplishments of the people of Ijebuland in Ogun State.
Consequently, FCMB has assured that its participation in this year’s festival, which holds in Ijebu-Ode on September 3, 2017, will be grand, exciting and rewarding for the thousands of people within and outside the country that would grace the fiesta.
The Group Head, Corporate Affairs of FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, gave the assurance at a press conference held in Ijebu-Ode to kick-off activities for the festival. FCMB has over the years been a major sponsor of the Ojude Oba Festival and has continued to play a significant role in ensuring its success.
The Ojude Oba (which in Ijebu dialect means, the king’s fore-court or frontage) is a major festival in Nigeria that began over 100 years ago. It brings together all sons and daughters of Ijebuland in Nigeria and Diaspora as various age groups (popularly known as the Regberegbes), indigenes, their friends and associates from far and near – all in their colourful costumes and riding on horses – throng the palace of the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland to pay homage to him amidst prayers, songs, tributes and other fun-filled activities.
Apart from serving as a distinctive platform to reconnect with the values that sustain the town’s rich history, heritage and industrious uniqueness, the festival also goes a long way to boost business activities, tourism and the general hospitality sector in the area.
In a goodwill message to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Adetona, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, congratulated the monarch, sons and daughters of Ijebuland for promoting the values of the ancient city through the festival and other socio-economic activities. He stated that FCMB is committed to the longevity of the Ojude Oba Festival and the economic prosperity of Ijebuland, just as he urged the people to see the festival as a fulcrum to inspire individuals and businesses for heightened creativity and increased productivity.
According to him, “over the years, the Ojude Oba Festival has grown to become the most popular gathering of the people of Ijebuland and a significant tourist attraction. With its large Diaspora population, talented artists and rich cultural diversity, Nigeria is well positioned to reap the opportunities that globalisation presents to showcase her artistry and festivals, while bringing increased economic activity to communities that host such, such as Ijebu Ode. As we seek to diversify our economy, tourism and culture represent a low hanging fruit that must not go untapped.”
In the same vein, the founder of FCMB Group, who is also the the Olori Omo-Oba Akile Ijebu, Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, in a goodwill message to the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, expressed his gratitude to the Awujale, especially the paramount ruler’s selflessness in attending to the different requests and yearnings of the people of Ijebuland. In a message delivered on his behalf by Mr. Diran Olojo, the bank’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Otunba Balogun commended Oba Adetona for his distinguished and exemplary leadership over the years.