Osun Osogbo Festival Marred By Low Turnout
The annual Osun Osogbo festival held on Friday amidst fanfare as usual.
It was one festival that has always attracted worshipers of the Osun deities as well as tourists from across the world.
However, something was missing in the event this year – the usually large turnout of people to the festival.
This has generated a lot of complaints from regular attendees of the festival, particularly traders who should have made massive sales.
What used to be a beehive of both socio-cultural and commercial activities was a little boring.
A petty trader, Ajadi Caroline, normally makes quite a fortune during the festival but she is not smiling this year.
"We don't know if it is the economy but help us tell Buhari to do something, this is our own hope of survival too," she said.
The traders were not alone.
Fortune tellers who had in the past enjoyed great patronage at the grove were also left with just few people who were not so interested in knowing what tomorrow holds for them.
Visitors, worshipers as well as tourists would normally approach them seeking to know their fortunes and this service attracted a decent fee.
In spite of this disappointments though, hundreds of worshippers still converged on the Osun Osogbo grove for the annual Osun-Osogbo festival celebration which climaxed on Friday.
The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, his traditional chiefs and the river goddess worshippers led other devotees in prayer as the votary maid known as 'Arugba' performed her ritual rites.
The Special Adviser to the Osun State Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mrs Taiwo Oluga, reiterated the state government’s commitment to promoting the cultural heritage of the state.
She promised government’s readiness to improve the state of the grove and the festival as a whole.
The Osun-Osogbo Grove became a UNESCO world Heritage site in 2005 and has since been attracting tourists from within Nigeria and around the globe.