I welcome you gentlemen of the media, distinguished ladies and gentlemen. It’s my great pleasure to host you today ahead of our annual festival, the Oronna Ilaro Festival. We are celebrating the 26th edition this year, beginning from tomorrow Saturday, 16th November to Sunday, 24th November.
The origin of the celebration of Oronna Day/Festival could be traced to the very beginning of Ilaro shortly after it was founded by Aro, a brave hunter and farmer from Oyo Ile sometimes in the middle of the 17th century. Not long afterwards, Ilaro was under the threat of invasion by the notorious and fearful Dahomean Army. Aro had no choice but to send message to warriors and princes in Oyo to join him in protecting the fertile land from the marauding Dahomean fighters.
One of the Oyo Princes and warriors that answered that call was Oronna who won many battles and became a Generalissimo in the defence of Ilaro from Dahomeans and other attackers.
Oronna’s exploits was great that he was recognised as super-human and in time assumed a deity figure. It was belief that Oronna enjoyed special support from Odua, the deity of the ancient town of Itolu as well as other deities from Oyo.
However, no enemy dare challenge Ilaro to war and even in death Oronna pledged to defend Ilaro people. Oronna is said to have disappeared into the earth following a provocation leaving the tail of a long chain tied to his waist as exit point from earth.
The point of his disappearance is now the famous Oronna Shrine which is now a tourist centre in Ogun State. It is at the shrine that all kings of Ilaro are crowned while most Ilaro people are called ‘Omo Oronna’.
Oronna celebration is a unifying yearly socio-cultural event by Ilaro people in pursuant of their cultural tradition and a platform for self help initiatives to develop the community.
The Festival was celebrated formally since 1993 with Ogun State Government participation in one form or another. But in line with positive trends and the axiom that change is an inevitable aspect of human life, the Oronna celebration is now being rebranded and taken to the next level as a national and international tourism event with potentials to impact on the economy of Ilaro and Ogun State.
Objectives of the festival includes:
 To position Ilaro town as is a rewarding tourist destination;
 Bringing back Ilaro sons and daughters; other people of African decent to trace their root during this period.
 Collaborating with Ogun State government in her effort to develop tourism potentials of the state and also to showcase the growth and development of Ilaro town socially, structurally and economically.
 To indentify talents for further development.
The festival is now been re-branded as Oronna-laro festival. This year festival is the 26th of its kind, this we have tagged as the festival of peace and progress. Last year we asked for peace and unity, we are grateful to God for granting us that request. We are building on that to take our community, Ilaro town and Yewaland to greater heights.
The Oronna Ilaro Festival Cental Planning committee Chaired by Alhaji Rafiu Akinola have lined up a lot of innovative and interesting activities to mark this year’s festival
The Line up of activities is as follows:
SATURDAY 16th November – Festival Carnival/Road show from 10am
MONDAY, 18th November –
Tribute to Oronna and other deities in Ilaro & Itolu village from 9am to 12noon.
Medical check up flag off by the Olu of Ilaro. Homage to Kabiesi by clubs, associations and families.
TUESDAY – Flag Off 5 km Festival Race: 7.30am.
Medical Check-up continues 10am – 4 pm
Igunnuko Masquerade Display at Oronna Hall 12 noon to 4 pm
Homage to Kabiesi continues
Football Competition Final (for secondary schools) 4 pm – 6pm at Yewa College, Ilaro
Traditional Efe Dance Ceremony: 7pm till dawn at IgboAje Main Market Square, Ilaro
WEDNESDAY – 20th November 2019
Colourful Gelede Display: 12 noon – 4 pm at IgboAje Main Market Square, Ilaro
Homage to Kabiesi
THURSDAY – 21st November 2019
Colourful OnigbaAje Ceremony at 10am to 4pm. Procession from River Ela to Igbo Aje Market Square.
Colourful Egungun Dance/Parade 10am – 6pm
Football Competition Final (Artisans): 4pm – 6pm at Gateway International Stadium, Ilaro
Local cusine Day POOSU/APARA/OSO NIGHT 7pm till Dawn at Ashade Agunloye Pavillion, Empire Field, Ilaro
FRIDAY – 22nd November 2019
Visit to Less Privileged Homes at 10am to 12 noon
Celebration of the Four(4) Ruling Houses Forum with Kabiyesi at 12noon to 6 pm AT the Private Palace of His Royal Majesty of Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Adeboye Olugbenle MFR
Jumaat Thanksgiving Service: 2pm to 4pm AT the Ilaro Central Mosque
8th Sisi Ilaro Beauty Pageant: 6pm till Dawn at Yewa Frontier Hotel, Ilaro
SATURDAY, 23rd November 2019
GRAND FINALE/Paying of Homage to His Royal Majesty of Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Adeboye Olugbenle MFR, M.Sc., FNIVS, RSV, The Olu of Ilaro and the Paramount Ruler of Yewaland
SUNDAY, 24th November 2019
Thanksgiving/Inter Denominational Service (Christian Community, Ilaro) at 10am AT the Cathedral Church of Christ, Ilaro

It is noteworthy to inform you of the dignitaries that we expect to grace the grand finale on Saturday, 23rd November. The executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR is our distinguished guest of honour. The Chairman of the Day distinguished Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola aka YAYI to be supported by Senator Tolu Odebiyi and Senator Buruji Kasamu. Ilaro is ready to host the world, adequate arrangements have been made to ensure the safety of everybody, our Hotels are waiting to receive visitors.
I thank you all gentlemen of the media on behalf of the people of Ilaro Yewa for coming and wish you well.
Oronna a gbe wa oo.

Leave a Reply