Osun-Osogbo festival: Devotees drink from Osun River despite warning

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By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

Despite warnings from the Osun State government that the Osun river had been contaminated by activities of artisan miners in the state, worshippers of the Osun deity on Friday drank from the river.

Thousands of devotees and visitors converged on the Osun grove as the Osun-Osogbo festival came to the climax.

Many of the worshippers were seen fetching water from the river in different containers and also drinking the water on their way out of the grove.

Devotees and visitors, who had trooped out to the riverside in their white attires and beads, were seen singing and dancing to traditional songs.

In his speech, the state governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola said the Osun Osogbo festival has, over the years, contributed to the socioeconomic development of the state in no small measure.

Oyetola stated that the government will not relent in exploiting the opportunities offered by the festival to ensure its growth and sustainability for socioeconomic development of the state.

He added: “As an administration, we continue to seek ways of mainstreaming our unique potential as a cultural and tourist destination. This desire, you will recall, motivated the design of a culture and tourism masterplan which has guided our interventions in the sector.

“We would like to particularly express our profound appreciation to the American Embassy for the partnership we have enjoyed and for the sustained support we received, especially with the recent reclamation and documentation effort on the Osun Osogbo Groove.

“As an administration, we continue to seek ways of mainstreaming our unique potential as a cultural and tourist destination. This desire, you will recall, motivated the design of a culture and tourism master plan which has guided our interventions in the sector.

“We would like to particularly express our profound appreciation to the American Embassy for the partnership we have enjoyed and for the sustained support we received, especially with the recent reclamation and documentation effort on the Osun Osogbo Groove.

“I enjoin you all to continue to sustain the right attitude so that together, we shall bring more investments to Osun.”

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