Revamping education as well as the empowerment of women and youths will be the focus of the Ogidi Day Festival holding in Ogidi in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State on June 17, this year, National President, Ogidi Development Union, Mr. Kayode Eniolrunda, has said.
Eniolorunda made this known in Abuja while speaking with journalists on the plans for the festival held yearly by the agrarian community to celebrate the new yam, showcase its culture and seek help in the execution of its development projects.
He said the community was determined to regain the comparative advantage in education that it once enjoyed and would therefore rehabilitate its educational infrastructure and work towards the improvement of the performance of its children in major external examinations.
Towards this end, Eniolorunda said the rehabilitation of the Ogidi Community Secondary School in the town had commenced and that some of the funds realised at the Ogidi Day this year would be channelled towards further upgrading facilities in the school.
Working with a United Kingdom-based charity, Ripples Foundation, he said the community would develop specific programmes to engage the womenfolk and the army of unemployed youths in the community in productive activities.
According to Eniolorunda, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, is expected to be the chief guest of honour at the event while top Ghanaian entrepreneur and Chairman, Eurostar Group, Mr. Oscar Yao Doe and the Yeyeokun of Okunland, Yeye Funke Eseyin would be the chairman and chairperson respectively.
Also, prominent daughter of the town and proprietress of Nike Art Gallery, Lagos, Chief Nike Okundaye, he said, would present the new yam to the Ologidi of Ogidi, Oba Rabiu Oladimeji Sule in the execution of her office as the Yeyeoba following which the traditional ruler would bless it and proclaim that members of the community were free to consume it.
Traditional rulers from Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Kogi States are also expected at the festival which would among other activities, feature the unveiling of the Ogidi Yam Farmer of the Year.
The Asiwaju of Ijumu, Chief Emmanuel Otitoju, will serve as the father of the day while a leading Abuja businesswoman and the Yeyeoba of Iyara, Chief Olufunmilayo Bodunde, will be the mother of the day.
Cultural troupes from Osun, Lagos, Edo and Ondo States will join their counterparts from Ogidi and environs to thrill the audience at the ceremony during which awards would be given to deserving members of the community and non-indigenes alike.