INTRODUCTION

The Cocoa Festival being the first of its kind in Africa is a unique and authentic celebration of the rich heritage of Eti-Oni and offers opportunities in developing the tertiary sector of the cash crop agricultural business particularly the tourism aspect as a by-product and value add which is key to the nation’s need for diversification of her economy. It is an annual event during the same period every year which is just after the completion of the cocoa harvest.

The festival is a week’s celebrations of peace, love and development with carefully well thought out events and activities to capture the full essence with a global wide participation and attendance and attracts significant attention from agriculturalists (new and established), agro – tourists as well as local and international travel enthusiasts.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Eti-Oni was established after the Kiriji war which was undisputedly the bloodiest of all wars in Yoruba history and it lasted between 1878 and 1886. The founder Gureje-Thompson was one of the generals and he introduced the Sneider rifles and his trained soldiers known as the rifle corps into the war.

The war which was initially called the Ekitiparapo War changed its name to Kiriji War by 1879 on Gureje’s entry. This name derived its origin from the sound of the Sneider rifles which gave the Ekitiparapo confederates the superior firing power over the Ibadan imperialists, with too much blood shed and this led to the British intervening to ensue for peace that brought the war to an end.

After the signing of the Peace Treaty in October 1886 and the break-up of the war camps with several kings returning to their domains, since most of them were at the camp for safety, a few of the war generals were encouraged to set up their own kingdoms for fears of invasion by them. This led to the founding and establishment of Eti-Oni by Gureje-Thompson and he introduced cocoa, cassava, rice and kolanuts to the new thriving community by 1896 and by 1910, Eti-Oni had become the first great centre of cocoa production with over 200 acres cultivated, in the region that was later to be known as Nigeria and subsequently became the economic mainstay of the then western region of the country.

EDG

The Eti-Oni Development Group has a global perspective and a long term objective to build a sustainable model smart town. It is made up of several accomplished individuals with diverse skills and experiences both locally and internationally who are visionary, creative and focused with the commitment and passion to achieve the group’s objectives in line with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the United Nations, Nigeria is poised to be the 3rd most populous country in the world by 2050 and there is a pressing need to creatively develop rural communities through different people and private initiatives and enterprises without relying on government intervention as a means to accommodate this rising population and new ways of generating the investments to fund the required social and physical infrastructure.

OUR PEOPLE

BEN OMOAKIN OGUNTALA

BEN OMOAKIN OGUNTALA

(MEMBER – ADVISORY BOARD, ETI-ONI DEVELOPMENT GROUP)

DR TONY ALABI

DR TONY ALABI

(MEMBER – ADVISORY BOARD, ETI-ONI DEVELOPMENT GROUP

REAR ADMIRAL PETER SHOLA ADENIYI (Rtd) DSS, mni. OFR.

REAR ADMIRAL PETER SHOLA ADENIYI (Rtd) DSS, mni. OFR.

(MEMBER – ADVISORY BOARD, ETI-ONI DEVELOPMENT GROUP)

PRINCESS YEMISI THOMPSON-BELLO

PRINCESS YEMISI THOMPSON-BELLO

(MEMBER – ADVISORY BOARD, ETI-ONI DEVELOPMENT GROUP)

ADAEZE UDO EKWUEME

ADAEZE UDO EKWUEME

(CEO, ETI-ONI DEVELOPMENT GROUP)

HRM OBA DOKUN THOMPSON

HRM OBA DOKUN THOMPSON

The Oloni of Eti-Oni (CHAIRMAN, ETI-ONI DEVELOPMENT GROUP)