The Osun Government says it is working on improving and de-polluting the Osun River to be clearer and safer for drinking for residents, especially Osun River goddess devotees.
Mr Abiodun Bankole-Ojo , State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, stated this on Friday while addressing journalists at the grand finale of the annual Osun-Osogbo Festival in Osogbo.
According to him, Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has already set up a special committee, comprising the state Ministries of Water Resources and that of Environment, toward ensuring that the Osun River is free from pollution.
He said though the state government was working to clean, and ensure the water is potable, devotees believe that the water cures them, irrespective of its colour, state or appearance.
“The governor is concerned about the safety of the water, and he has set up a special committee, headed by the ministries of water resources and environment, to ensure the pollution is removed.
“If you look at the water now, it is far much better than last year, and I am assuring you that by next year, it will be much more better.
“Our people believe drinking this water cures them. Even though we don’t want poison added to what our people drink, we know that practically and technically, nobody can stop devotees from drinking it.
“We will, however, do our best to improve on the quality of the water,” he said
Speaking on the Osun-Osogbo Festival, the commissioner said the festival is the source of the Osogbo people, and by extention, the Osun people, as the state derived its name from the Osun River.
“Osun State derives its name from the Osun River, while the Osun River is the home of the Osun goddess, the goddess that the people, (devotees) are coming to worship.
“Gov. Adeleke has, however, put so much into the festival, to ensure the groove is accessible, beautiful and usable.
“We are putting a lot of efforts to making the festival great, spiritually, socially, and in terms of tourism culture, ” he said.