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Lisabi Festival: Sarafa Isola’s grandfather named Hero of the Year

Eminent sons and daughters of Egbaland, on Thursday, gathered at Mokola in Abeokuta, to celebrate the 37th Lisabi Festival and honour the late Otun of…

Eminent sons and daughters of Egbaland, on Thursday, gathered at Mokola in Abeokuta, to celebrate the 37th Lisabi Festival and honour the late Otun of Egbaland, Chief Tairu Braimoh Olaleye, as the Hero of the Year.

The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, while speaking about the rich heritage of the Egba people emphasised the significance of Lisabi Festival in uniting the people and promoting selflessness and leadership qualities.

The monarch, while celebrating the Hero of the Year, who is the grandfather of Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, said the late Chief Tairu was honoured at the 2024 edition of the festival, having served Egbaland diligently as the Otun of Egbaland.

He said the contributions of the Hero of the Year to the development of Egbaland could not also be erased.

The Alake added that the event served as a platform to celebrate achievements, honour exemplary individuals and foster unity among Egba sons and daughters.

“We use Lisabi festival to promote selflessness, to promote leadership qualities in all Egba sons and daughters, to promote what we are known for. Education is our number one industry; to promote education, to promote entrepreneurship.

“This year, we chose agric business, and we have had series of lectures, bankers coming to tell us about what facilities are available to farmers and we have got so many Egba sons who have produced the equipment that so many of our children will need when they’re going into farming.”

Meanwhile, Oba Saka Adelola Matemilola, the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, stressed the importance of preserving history and heritage to propel further development by the younger generation.

He urged the community to build on the successes inherited from their forefathers, especially the legacies of late Chief Tairu Braimoh Olaleye, the grandfather of Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Ishola.

While speaking on unity and blessing of God, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, the Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, urged his people to always acknowledge God in their endeavours.

He expressed delight in the selection of Chief Tairu Braimoh Olaleye as the hero of the year, noting his significant contributions to the development of Egbaland.

Ambassador Sarafa Tunji-Isola, the immediate past Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, reflected on his family’s pride in their heritage, with his grandfather being honoured.

He emphasised the importance of unity in achieving development in Egbaland.

“Unity will achieve a lot in terms of having a common agenda for development. The essence thus is to galvanise ourselves together and uplift Egbaland in terms of socio-economic issues, employment and other infrastructure because one thing that always brings development for any set of people is their unity of purpose and I am happy that we are getting that in Egbaland,” he stated.

The highpoint of the event was the presentation of a certificate in recognition of late Chief Tairu Braimoh Olaleye as the Lisabi Festival Hero of the Year, 2024.

Chief Taiwo Braimoh Olaleye, as Otun Egba between 1907 – 1913, played pivotal roles in the development of Egbaland and was a signatory to the Agreement made on 18th November, 1909 between His Excellency, Sir Walter Egerton, Knight Commander of the Distinguished Order of Saint Micheal and Saint George; Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the colony of Southern Nigeria, the Alake and authorities of the Egba nation.

The Lisabi Festival, named after Lisabi Agbongboakala, a revered warrior who saved Egba people from the regular payment of royalty to the Alaafin of Oyo, serves as a testament to the resilience and unity of the Egba people.

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