The grand finale of the annual Osun Osogbo festival has been held at the sacred Osun groove, with devotees, visitors and culture enthusiasts from around the world attended the event.
The festival which began two weeks ago featured series of cleansing rites and prayers for the town in particular and the nation at large.
At the head of a long procession of devotees, worshippers, visitors and traditional chiefs was Arugba, the votary maiden, whose duty was to carry the sacrifice calabash on her head to the Osun River.
In his remarks at the occasion, Osun state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, said he was honoured to attend the festival for the first time as governor, promising that his administration would continue its support for the festival’s growth and sustainability.
Oyetola, who was represented by the Supervisor of Osun Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Dr Olawale Adebisi, said the State was seeking partnership with the Nigerian Government to optimally tap into the tourism benefits of the culture-fest.
“The Osun-Osogbo festival is important to the government and people of Osun, because it is a common cultural heritage and our window and voice to the world.
“We are aware of the power of tourism to market our culture to the world, foster cultural communication and harmony and engender national and international peace and cooperation.
“It is our intention to develop, promote and project the Osun-Osogbo festival to global prominence to compete with other world renowned cultural festivals.
“We shall transform the festival to a foreign exchange earner and a major driver of our economy through tourism.” he said
The Royal Host of the festival, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, in his own remarks, thanked all partners and sponsors who made the festival a success, as well as dignitaries, royal fathers and culture enthusiasts from Nigeria and abroad, who graced the occasion.
The 2019 edition of Osun-Osogbo festival brought together foreign tourists from countries like Brazil, Japan, Germany and Osun goddess devotees, masquerades, traditional religion heads and royal fathers from far and near.