By Emmanuel Babafemi
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo arrived Ibadan Friday morning to the warm embrace of residents and well wishers who rolled out drums to welcome Nigeria’s second-in-command into the ancient city for the coronation of the new Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun, Ali Okunmade II.
The highly elated Ibadan people could not hide their feelings as they lined the streets waving their hands, chanting different songs, and hailing the arrival of Prof Osinbajo, expressing joy, seeing the Vice President coming in person to honour the people and the new Olubadan at his installation ceremony.
Support group members carrying posters and banners with different inscriptions, spiritedly calling for the Osinbajo 2023 Presidency were also on hand to receive Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on his arrival to Ibadan city, the Oyo State capital.
It was a carnival of all sorts as the people in great elation happy to witness the historical occasion and the arrival of the Vice President which made their day, danced with joy as the Ibadan city pulsated with music and excitement.
Everyone happy to be part of the occasion spread across the main roads already closed to motorists and in their hundreds marched on Ibadan streets, especially at the city centre, as they headed for the Mapo Hall, venue of the installation ceremony of Oba Olalekan Balogun, as the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland.
Eminent personalities and well-meaning Nigerians, especially sons and daughters of Ibadanland, politicians and captains of industry across the world, were also on the lineup for the occasion.
Also, many associations, in different attires, were seen within and outside Mapo Hall premises, venue of the event, dancing to the indigenous musics of Ibadanland.
No fewer than four Yoruba musicians, including an Ibadan based Fuji musician, have set their stages to entertain dignitaries and well-wishers at the occasion.
A visit to the Ali-Iwo Compound, where the new Olubadan hails from, shows that ceremonial activities had commenced, as groups of women were seen singing in praises of the Ali-Iwo Family.
Traditional drummers and native praise singers, with scores of well-wishers, were also sighted at different locations on Oje-Beere-Oja-Oba Road.
Meanwhile, there was heavy deployment of security operatives to some strategic locations within the Metropolis, especially the roads leading to Mapo Hall area of Ibadan.
There were joint efforts months by the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Operation Burst and Amotekun personnel in a bid to prevent breakdown of laws and orders.
Similarly, officers of the Oyo State Fire Service were on ground at the venue to attend to fire incident in case it occurs.
Major roads leading to Mapo Hall were blocked, while commuters had to trek some distances to get to their destination and venue of the ceremony.
There was also the presence of traditional worshipers few metres away from the venue singing, dancing and expressing joy about the ceremony.