BY: EMMANUEL OLUWAKOREDE
Isanlu is the headquarters of Yagba Federal Constituency and Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi state. Situated between longitude seven and eight degree East of the Greenwich Meridian and between latitude six and seven degree North of the Equator, the community is centre heart of mid Ilorin in Kwara State and Lokoja, Kogi State Capital.
According to history, seventeen towns and villages formed a community called Isanlu Kingdom, the seat of power of Yagba East Local Government Area. They are; Makutu, Itedo – Makutu, Ilafin, Odogbe, Iyeh, Ilotin, Idofin, Iddo-Ojesha, Surulere, Ijowa, Omowa Mopo, Bagido, Offin, Itedo Ijowa, Itedo Amuro, Itedo Irunda, Irunda Ile.
As one of the early developed and most peaceful communities in Okun land, Isanlu shares boundaries with Mopa/Amuro, Yagba West Local Government Areas.
The Community which has, Africa religion, Christianity and Islam as its major religions accommodates people from other tribes such as Igbo, Hausa, Ebiras and Bassa among others who have been living peacefully without rancor and acrimony.
In Isanlu, farming is the major occupation while education is also the largest industry of the community and that is why it is blessed with illustrious sons and daughters who are academicians, politicians, business men and women, entrepreneurs who are contributing to the development of Nigeria and the world in general.
Since every community is blessed with abundant culture and tradition, Isanlu is not left out. The indigenous food, drinks and delicacies in the Community include; Akara agbado, Aadun, Ori, Ogo, Ejigbolokan, Otin Eka, and Burukutu.
The Isanlu people also have Egungun Makutu, Omowa Mopo, Ijowa, Irunda. Jenkutu, Iregun, Elele, Ode (Hunters), Ewe Cultural group, Ilu Akoko, Ogiri Deunje, Voice of Talking Drum and the Yagba East LGA Cultural Troupe as parts of the traditions of the area.
One Unique festival in Isanlu is the new yam festival which is usually celebrated on every last Saturday of July.
The Isanlu Day is a major celebration that attracts sons and daughters of the community as well as friends and invited guests. On this Day, the people of the community both young and old as well as well wishers at home and Diaspora roll out drums and come out enmassely dresses to celebrate.
The Day is aimed at celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the community as well as promotes peace and unity as well as execution of projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
More so, for several decades, Isanlu Progressives Union (IPU), which has being the principal agent in organizing Isanlu Day and the sustainability of the annual event is commendable.
This year’s celebration of Isanlu Day will be unique as the celebration is a three days programme tagged Isanlu Cultural Rebirth.
The epoch making event is expected to Commence on April first, twenty-twenty one with a Carnival in all Communities and exhibition of Isanlu indigenous delicacies at eight o’clock in the morning and two o’clock in the afternoon respectively.
Also same day, the Agbana of Isanlu, His Royal Majesty, Oba Moses Etombi, other traditional rulers in Isanlu, IPU Executives, Social and Event Committee members and others will embark on a tour of the Tourist sites and Community Carnival venues.
At twelve noon of second of April, Isanlu people from all walks of live are expected to gather at the Isanlu Town Hall, Isanlu for a lecture with the theme: “Isanlu Cultural Rebirth,” to be delivered by Professor Samuel Toba Anjorin of University of Abuja to be followed by the finals of Agbana Cup, a football competition in honour of Oba Moses Babatunde Etombi later in the evening.
The grand finale holds the following day with a Cultural Dance at ten o’clock in the morning as well as Gala Award night and Miss Isanlu at eight o’clock in the evening.
The event is under the chairmanship of Bishop L.A Daniels with Chief Mrs. Adedoyin Eshanami as the Lady Chairperson while the Agbana of Isanlu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Moses Babatunde Etombi is the Royal Father of the Day.
Also, the Secretary to Kogi State Government, Mrs. Folashade Ayoade, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Elder Leke Abejide and Alhaji Jimoh Musa Omiata are Guests of Honour while the National President of Isanlu Progressives Union, Bashorun Adedayo Kayode, Asiwaju Idris Asiru and the Chairman of Yagba East Local Government Area, Abdulrasaq Asiru Ijagbemi are Hosts.
This year’s event is exceptional based on the fact that illustrious sons and daughters of the community who has distinguished themselves in community development and their chosen carreers will be recognized and honoured with an award of excellence.
As activities marking the twenty-twenty one Isanlu Day commence tomorrow, it is hoped that the event will further strengthen the bond of unity and peace of the Isanlu people.
Through this, the Isanlu people will continue to see their community as a place of pride among the comity of towns, both in kogi state and beyond.