The Chairman/Chief Executive, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) is among dignitaries from across the country who will be at the Ogidi Day Festival holding in Ogidi-Ijumu, Kogi State on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
The festival holds in the middle of June each year in commemoration of the arrival of the new yam by the people of the agrarian Ogidi community.
The Director-General, Ogidi Day Festival, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, in a statement said Gen Marwa, who will serve as the special guest of honour at the event will use the opportunity of the visit to engage the youths of Ogidi and neighbouring communities on the dangers of drug abuse.
According to Mr. Ipinmisho, in accepting the invitation to be at the event, the NDLEA chief executive said abuse of drugs posed a potent threat to the future of the country and the destiny of its youths and that every available opportunity should be used to dissuade country’s future leaders from habits that could extinguish their hope.
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Prince Matthew Kolawole and the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Folorunsho Coker have also indicated that they will be at the event which locals have tagged Nigeria’s biggest culture event in June.
The statement said the Kogi State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning, Mukadam Idris Asiru will be the chairman of the occasion while the Iyalode of Aiyetoro-Gbedde, Chief (Mrs.) Motolani Rasheedat Salawu will be the Lady Chairperson.
Also expected are the Galadima Garin Nupe, Arc. Danjuma Galadima who will be the special guest along with the Ciroman Nupe, Arc. Manko Babayitso and other Nupe dignitaries.
Ipinmisho added that the Nupe emirate had been represented at the festival since 2013, which he said was a testimony to the warm relations between Ogidi and Bida, after the bloody wars between the Okun people of Kogi State and the Nupe kingdom, which ended in victory for the Okun coalition at the at the battle of Ogidi in 1897.
A delegation of traditional rulers from the South West led by the Alayemore of Ido-Osun, Olojudo Obalufon Adedapo Aderemi will also be on hand to perform the enthronement of Nigeria’s icon of the visual arts, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Okundaye, an indigene of the community as the Oba Asa (Queen of Culture) Obalufon.
Okundaye will stage an exhibition of some of her famous works at the festival. Mrs. Okundaye is also charged with the traditional duty of presenting the new yam to the Ologidi of Ogidi, Oba Rabiu Oladimeji Sule.
Popular Ogidi cultural troupes, the Agbo Olode, the Olaga and the Are Iyawo will entertain guests while Adunni and Nefertiti, Nigeria’s leading all female folk groups will also be on stage with guest troupes from Ondo, Ekiti States and Edo States.