Ado-Ekiti’s Udiroko Festival: Fayose Delivers Valedictory Speech

Ado-Ekiti’s Udiroko Festival: Fayose Delivers Valedictory Speech

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 11:52 am

Governor Fayose, left, and Oba Adejugbe, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, right

Ademola Adegbamigbe

• Promises to Complete all Projects He Initiated

Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, on Tuesday 22 August, delivered what could pass for his valedictory speech, especially to the people of Ado Ekiti. That was during the celebration of the Udiroko festival which is another name for Ado Day. In other words, he will not attend the next one as a sitting governor.

At the event that took place inside the amphitheatre in Ewi’s palace on Tuesday, 22 August, 2018, he, apart from appreciating the support the people gave him, reassured them that he would complete all the projects he initiated before he leaves office on 16 October.

He particularly mentioned the multi billion Naira ultra modern market that is nearing completion at the capital of the state, Ado Ekiti. According to Nigerian Tribune, Fayose, promised that the over 600 market people “who were displaced when the old market was demolished would be first considered in sharing the new shops to the marketers.” He listed some of his great developmental strides in the city like the fly over, urban renewal projects, new market, 750 seater civic centre and amphitheatre inside the Ewi’s palace as well as “many road network project that beautified the city.” He promised to keep in touch with them even after he has left office saying, saying “in and out of office we will continue to celebrate you. I appreciate all of you Ado Ekiti indigenes. And thank you immensely for your support.”

Ado-Ekiti chiefs paying homage to the Ewi

He showered encomiums on Aare Afe Babalola, founder of Afe Babalola University, who he referred to as “not just a value added citizen, but the value itself”, emphacising that Babalola is “a valuable citizen of Ado Ekiti.”

Fayose added: “Anyone who comes to this palace of the Ewi will remember me as the governor who built this amphitheatre. I told you that I will perform and you have seen my performance. I will ensure that all those who were displaced when we demolished the old market are first considered in sharing the shops in the new ultra modern market which we will complete in few days.

“I appreciate you all Ado indigenes you had stood solidly behind us and I want you to stand solidly behind the Ewi of Ado of Ado after we have left office. My good works for you will bring me good fortunes.

“Even if my deputy was announced as the winner, I have an expiry date as governor of the state. It is not the man who governs that matters but what he has done for the people. History will judge me well on my performance as I have delivered on my mandate. I will ensure to work assiduously for the state till my last day in office.”

The Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, replied: “Generations yet unborn will appreciate what you (Fayose) did for Ado Ekiti.

Some of Ewi’s crowns on display

“Fayose has demonstrated consistency. He promised to turn around Ado and he has indeed turned around the town. Ado is now a befitting state capital. He said he was coming to deliver and he has delivered.

“When he said he was going to build this palace ampitheatre, I laughed because I never believed. But he did not only build the amphitheater as promised, he added a befitting hall to it. For ever and ever, your name will be remembered in the history of Ado Ekiti. As you will be leaving, I will pray the same prayer for each governor that comes here. You will not lose your wife and children.

Also Aare Afe Babalola said: “We had been working here in the Ewi’s palace before Governor Fayose came, but what he did here within three years is unparalleled.”

The Udiroko is the only festival, apart from Ogun or Oitado, according to Ado-Ekiti tradition, that brings all the citizens both at home and in the diaspora together. It was, according to, established around 1310 AD during the reign of Oba Awamaro, the first Ewi (king) of present day Ado-Ekiti and marks the first day of the year for the town’s inhabitants. It is a day people set aside to give thanks for their creator Olorun (hence its nickname, the Olorunborun festival). The name udiroko is derived from the venue of the festival, which is beneath the big Uroko (Iroko) tree at the Ewi’s palace

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