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Bolojo Culture Alive As Yewaland Celebrates Rahmon Bello

The rich culture of Yewaland, in Ogun State, came alive last Saturday, when many of its sons and daughters rose to celebrate the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahmon Bello.

It was meant to be a day of tributes to Rahmon, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the experience of the people in the political equation of the state, but the organisers ensured that they brought out  songs, poetry and dance from the area.

Apart from Bolojo performance by a group led by veteran artiste, Jossy Friday, there were Anago and Igbogila offerings, including the usually witty efe songs, performed by different groups, the ‘producer and director’ of the star show is the President of the Yewaland Development Forum, organisers of the event, Alhaji Ayo Adeyemi. The Islamic leader, writer and singer led other members of the forum to perform Iba, the permission (to speak), which he sought from the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, who was the father of the day.

Adeyemi also invited other important personalities, including Emeritus Professor Anthony Ashiwaju, who, interestingly, felt  so much at home in the cast that he out-danced Adeyemi himself in the process.

The monarch appreciated the enactment of the Iba and urged other people to always project their culture. He commended the organisers of the programme, while he hailed Rahmon for bringing honour to Yewaland.

At the event attended by several other traditional rulers, politicians and scholars — including the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe — the Chairperson, Hon. Salmon Badru, described Bello as a unique man, a humanitarian and the pride at his people.

The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, also described the former VC as an icon and a role model.

In his speech, Adeyemi not only established why the association decided to host Bello, he also set the tone for the story of emancipation that echoed throughout the programme.

According to him, it was an occasion to celebrate excellence, enrich history, renew  the present and chart a great new course for the future as far as Yewaland was concerned.

He said, “We are very happy that with Prof. Rahman Bello, shame is not the lot of Yewaland. Rather, he has done us proud and he has shown to the world the great potential in  every nook and cranny of our dear vast but yet untapped mini world – Yewaland, I mean. “It is for this reason that the Yewaland Development Forum decided to organise this and invite you all, and we are very grateful that you have made it a day.

“You would agree with me that in the scheme of things in our beloved state,  Yewaland has yet to assert itself. We have not got the opportunity to contribute meaningfully enough, nor have we also been able to make enough concerted efforts to do so. Yet, we are a legitimate and bonafide part and parcel of Ogun Sate. We are not a conquered territory and neither are we an inferior breed. When we, thus, regularly come together like this, we will have the opportunity to reflect on where the rain began to beat us, as legendary writer, Chinua Achebe,  would say. We will be able to approach the future with the hope  for self and mutual fulfilment.”

In his lecture titled, Ogun State Project: Stemming the Erosions of Economic and Political Agitations of the Underdeveloped West District, Senitor Kolawole Bajomo gave a historical perspective of the state’s politics and the intrigues that, according to him, often get Ogun West marginalised. He appealed to the other political zones and challenged Yewa people to harness their resources to get themselves out of deprivation.

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Bolojo culture alive as Yewaland celebrates Rahmon Bello

•L-R: Adeyemi and Bello

Akeem Lasisi

The rich culture of Yewaland, in Ogun State, came alive last Saturday, when many of its sons and daughters rose to celebrate the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahmon Bello.

It was meant to be a day of tributes to Rahmon, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the experience of the people in the political equation of the state, but the organisers ensured that they brought out  songs, poetry and dance from the area.

Apart from Bolojo performance by a group led by veteran artiste, Jossy Friday, there were Anago and Igbogila offerings, including the usually witty efe songs, performed by different groups, the ‘producer and director’ of the star show is the President of the Yewaland Development Forum, organisers of the event, Alhaji Ayo Adeyemi. The Islamic leader, writer and singer led other members of the forum to perform Iba, the permission (to speak), which he sought from the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, who was the father of the day.

Adeyemi also invited other important personalities, including Emeritus Professor Anthony Ashiwaju, who, interestingly, felt  so much at home in the cast that he out-danced Adeyemi himself in the process.

The monarch appreciated the enactment of the Iba and urged other people to always project their culture. He commended the organisers of the programme, while he hailed Rahmon for bringing honour to Yewaland.

At the event attended by several other traditional rulers, politicians and scholars — including the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe — the Chairperson, Hon. Salmon Badru, described Bello as a unique man, a humanitarian and the pride at his people.

The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, also described the former VC as an icon and a role model.

In his speech, Adeyemi not only established why the association decided to host Bello, he also set the tone for the story of emancipation that echoed throughout the programme.

According to him, it was an occasion to celebrate excellence, enrich history, renew  the present and chart a great new course for the future as far as Yewaland was concerned.

He said, “We are very happy that with Prof. Rahman Bello, shame is not the lot of Yewaland. Rather, he has done us proud and he has shown to the world the great potential in  every nook and cranny of our dear vast but yet untapped mini world – Yewaland, I mean. “It is for this reason that the Yewaland Development Forum decided to organise this and invite you all, and we are very grateful that you have made it a day.

“You would agree with me that in the scheme of things in our beloved state,  Yewaland has yet to assert itself. We have not got the opportunity to contribute meaningfully enough, nor have we also been able to make enough concerted efforts to do so. Yet, we are a legitimate and bonafide part and parcel of Ogun Sate. We are not a conquered territory and neither are we an inferior breed. When we, thus, regularly come together like this, we will have the opportunity to reflect on where the rain began to beat us, as legendary writer, Chinua Achebe,  would say. We will be able to approach the future with the hope  for self and mutual fulfilment.”

In his lecture titled, Ogun State Project: Stemming the Erosions of Economic and Political Agitations of the Underdeveloped West District, Senitor Kolawole Bajomo gave a historical perspective of the state’s politics and the intrigues that, according to him, often get Ogun West marginalised. He appealed to the other political zones and challenged Yewa people to harness their resources to get themselves out of deprivation.

He said, “As democrats, we hold as inviolable principle that the marginalisation of a section of the people in the nation or the state such as we are witnessing today should not be allowed to continue since it has the potential to result in a systematic and comprehensive denial of the human rights of the people which our government swore to protect by the constitution.”

It was an elated Bello who, alongside his wife, who appreciated the gestures of the stakeholders.

He said, “I didn’t expect what has been happening to me since two months ago. A total of eight receptions have, so far, been organised for me, for which I thank the organisers. While I believe that there is none that is not worth it, the greatest honour is the one from one’s people. Today’s is thus very symbolic because it is from my own people.”

Bello said that although he returned to the university after serving as a commissioner in Ogun State, he had never left Yewa people, body and soul. According to him, the Yewa agenda is one he has been talking about for long.

He added, “The challenge as far as the Yewa agenda is concerned is that of unity, resources and patronage. There will never be a time that political differences will not be there. But, even if there are several aspirants, we must know when it is time to harmonise and time to give up personal aspirations for the collective one. We must face 2019 with the biggest resolute.”

 

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