By Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
No fewer than 5,000 school children are to participate in the Calisthenic Display for the Oodua World Children Day holding today at Osogbo Sports Stadium.
The Chairman of the Mobilizing Committee of Oodua World Children Day Planning Committee, Hon. Mudasiru Oguntola Toogun disclosed this in Osogbo.
He said that 30 traditional rulers who are Yoruba descendants but living in Benin Republic are to grace the occasion aside from the several other monarchs expected from the nine Yoruba speaking states already invited for the occasion.
Among the traditional rulers expected from Republic of Benin include: Onisabe of Sabe, Onipopo of Popo, Alaketu of Ketu, Olukoyi of Ajase-Ile among others as well as Afonja descendants in Ilorin and other Yoruba speaking states.
He further hinted that about 2,000 school pupils from nine Yoruba speaking places such as: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Kwara and Kogi are invited to watch the event to promote unity.
Toogun maintained that aside from traditional rulers from Republic of Benin, Afonja descendants in Ilorin and other Yoruba speaking places would grace the occasion.
The Chairman of the committee further said that the school children from nine Yoruba speaking places such as Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Kwara and Kogi were also invited for the conference.
He said that the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi and other traditional rulers would lead their colleagues to welcome the visitors from Republic of Benin.
According to him no fewer than 5,000 children will participate in the Calisthenics display that will come up at the Osogbo City Stadium that would also witness match past of students while about 2,000 children drawn from all Yoruba speaking states of the nation would be part of the event .
Toogun said that the event was in recognition of the importance of Yoruba children as the invaluable heritage of the nation adding that Governor Rauf Aregbesola directed that an elaborate celebration be organized to make the children secure a sense of direction, discover themselves and their talent so that they can function with poise and courage when they grow up.
Toogun noted that the calisthenics done by public schools dazzled everyone adding that “we have a clear testimony today that the activities have impacted positively in the lives of these children for they have inculcated team spirit, discipline and diligence, mental alertness and determination to achieve a goal”
According to him, aside from the efforts of the present administration to unite the Yoruba nation with activities that would bring them together during the celebration, other programmes that would add value to the lives of the children include a lecture to be delivered by Professor Akinwumi Ishola at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Osogbo.
Toogun assured that adequate security arrangement has been made with the state police Command and other security operatives adding that government believe that the programme would enhance efforts at making regional integration a reality.