Multi-million Naira Businesses, Tourism Potentials To Feature In Saki’s Bere Festival
The Oyo State government has announced that the annual Bere Festival in Saki, Saki West Local government will feature the display of multi-million naira local products and tourism potentials which will positively affect the economy of the State.
The week-long 2022 Bere Festival will start on the 8th of March and end on the 16th of March, 2022 with various activities scheduled to make the event memorable.
Indigenes of the town at home and abroad usually throng the community to celebrate the festival annually, while visitors and tourists also make the annual trip to the community to buy products that are known to be peculiar to the people of Saki town.
According to the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, Oyo State government recognized the annual event as important to the lives of Saki people, as it contributes to the economy of the community, Oke-Ogun region and Oyo State in general.
Olatubosun who spoke with journalists at his office on Thursday hinted that officials of the Ministry have visited Saki to document tourists sites and local industries that will be the target of visitors during the Bere Festival.
He added that the Oke-Ogun region of the State has benefited immensely from the present administration in the areas of physical infrastructure and agro-economy, as the township road within Saki has been dualized for ease of vehicular and products movement.
While congratulating the Okere of Saki Oba Khalid Oyeniyi Olabisi 111 and the people of the community for the upcoming festival, Dr. Olatubosun called on them to continue their support for the Seyi Makinde-led administration, so that more dividends of democracy could be delivered to them.
“We congratulate the people of Saki for being alive to witness the coming Bere Festival, an occasion that is used to promote the tourism potentials and local economy in the community and the State in general.
“As it is always done, we expect to see tourists, visitors and sons and daughters of the community to throng the town to celebrate and transact businesses, which will in effect, affect the economy of not just Saki, but that of Oke-Ogun and Oyo State in general.”
The Commissioner listed tourists sites that are the pride of Saki people to include the Saki Heritage Park (Saki Ancient Palace) at Ogidigbo-ile, Asabari Hill, the Statue of Madam Ekunsumi (Ayaba Okere) who turned to Ogun River and the ever-flowing Aaya stream.
Among other sites are the Igbo Ologun, named after the ancient warrior of Saki land, the Basaori stream that history said used to lend those in need clothes and jewelries, the aluminum pot casting industry, the shea butter industry and the local blacksmith industry.
The Chairman, Bere Festival Planning Committee, High Chief Jimoh Adigun who also spoke with officials of the Tourism department of the State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on Thursday said the significance of ‘Bere’, a special grass used to roof in the olden days was to forge unity and community development.
He said to preserve the Bere (thatching grass), the fore-bearers made it an abomination for anybody to burn the bush during dry season until after the festival, so that people could have enough of the grass for roofing purpose.
Adigun said the community, in the old and till the present moment would bring thatching roof to the palace, which will be officially presented by the Chief Mayeloye for inspection and the roofing would start.
“It is a week-long festival in which for the period, various activities are done, a day is set aside for oath taking by the traditional chiefs to reaffirm their loyalty to the throne and twenty-one gun salute to show that the festival has started.
“The Bere Festival is annual and it indicates that people will take their thatching grass (Bere) to the palace and join hands in re-roofing the palace before going back home to do same at their own houses.
“The significance of this festival is for the traditional council and the entire community to show their love and commitment to the Kabiyesi and the development of the community.”
Chief Jimoh Adigun however appreciated the governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde for the turn around witnessed in physical infrastructure and economy of Oke-Ogun area, especially Saki town, among which he mentioned the Saki township road and other road projects in and around the region, establishment of Saki Family Court, Saki Specialist Hospital and the revamp of Oyo State Agricultural Development Agency (OYSADA) in Saki.
He pledged the continued support of the people of the community to the government, towards achieving an enviable State that will be the pride of the nation.