Ososo Carnival is a cultural event which is held annually to showcase the cultural heritage, traditions and tourism potentials of Ososo in Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo State, Nigeria. The Carnival is an exceptional display of the Ososo spirit and its ageless culture of welcome and warm hospitality. It is also an outlandish display of the Ososo culture of peace, deep sense of community and good neighbourliness.
The first edition of the Carnival was held from December 27 – 30, 2011. The immersive experience of participants and visitors during the maiden edition of the carnival was the motivating factor that propelled organizers to ensure that the celebrative event is held annually.
The idea to float the leisure event was conceived by a group of young and enterprising citizens of Ososo immediately after Season 8 of the Gulder Ultimate Search [a Nigerian Reality Television Series created and sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc] was hosted in Ososo in 2011.
Since the successful organization of the maiden edition, the Carnival has become one of the most anticipated major events that people in Ososo and neighbouring communities as well as those in the Diaspora look forward to annually.
Ososo Carnival has the full endorsement of the Edo State Government in view of the vast tourism potentials of Ososo and the capacity of Ososo Carnival to significantly add value to the development of tourism in Nigeria.
In the same vein, Ososo Carnival enjoys a robust relationship with the Cross River State Carnival Commission. The strategic partnership between the two bodies is designed to upgrade and turn Ososo Carnival into a major brand like the Calabar Carnival and ensure it assumes the status of one of the most visited tourist destinations in Africa.
To consistently draw attention to the huge tourism potentials of the community, create and deliver fun and memorable vacations at great value, in harmony with the beautiful weather and scenic beauty of the rocky hills and mountains.
Our mission is to bring the world on vacation to see and appreciate our natural environmental endowment, and deliver exceptional experiences that strongly appeal to indigenes, neighbours and tourists all at an outstanding value.
1. To raise awareness and showcase the rich cultural heritage, traditions and vast tourism potentials of Ososo;
2. To cultivate, promote and foster unity amongst Ososo people and its neighbours in line with the clamour for global peace and good neighbourliness;
3. To use the celebration of Culture as an instrument for development;
4. To organize carnivals, festivals, concerts, and other cultural events that reflect the beliefs, customs, and traditions of Ososo people;
5. To contribute to the socio-cultural and economic development of Ososo and its neighbours by organizing and promoting community self help projects in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment programmes; and
6. To encourage Ososo sons and daughters as well as foreign investors to develop infrastructure to cater for the increasing number of visitors and tourists during the carnival.
OSOSO: The Tourist Ultimate Destination”
Ososo is a scenic town of streams and rocks in the undulating Somorika hills. The town is located in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, in the north of Edo State, Nigeria. With an average altitude of 1236 feet above sea level, it enjoys a very temperate climate similar to that of Jos, Plateau State. The highest peak is a very large monolith often called the Oruku rock.
The town is made up of four clans: Anni, Egbetua, Okhe and Ikpena. With an approximated population of 70,000 and a combined population density of 5,111 per 7 km radius, it is one of the largest towns in the Local Government Area. Ososo has a unique dialect of the Ghotuo-Uneme-Yekhee branch of the Edoid linguistic lineage. Ososo shares boundaries with Okene to the north, Okpella to the East, Makeke to the west, Ojah to the South and Ogori to the north-west. It is a boundary town between Edo and Kogi States.
According to oral tradition, the people of Ososo migrated from “Ogbe” in present day Benin City in the 17th century during the era of fierce and violent inter-tribal wars between Benin kingdom and its neighbours and due to general disenchantment with the harsh economic realities of their day. The migration took the people first to Idah in Kogi state. Not comfortable with the people there they moved on to Ajaokuta, there to Uname – Orugbe by the river Niger and finally to Idoani in ososo from where they expanded down from the rocks to the present location. The early settlers were attracted to Ososo because of its rocks, caves, temperate climate, springs and fertile lands. We cannot rule out our affiliation with Kogi state when you look at our traditional chiefs’ mode of dressing with the long red cap called oji and the name Tokura which is a title in Igala. The expansion of descendant family lineage brought about the present four clans that the town is now made up of. Although there are many common family names in Ososo, a few include Buoro, Otaru, Orifa, Okogbe, Jegede, Okareh, Ogedengbe, Ogidan, Osheku, Obaitan, Bodunde, Arokamoni (or Arokhamoni), Akpologun, Okpelle, Alabi, Agbaje, Ogboriefor, Okole, Ogbokhoyani and so on.
Ososo town is of granitic nature, with some elevations of volcanic origin containing precious stones of varied descriptions. Located on a plateau of dispersed rocks and undulating hills, the town continues to be a haven for tourists. Because of its rocks and climate, some Europeans established a quarry company north of the town, known as BOK Quarry some years ago. The rocks and hills of varied sizes and shapes occupy the plateau with the natural magical posture of a thousand models posing to nature’s camera.
The colonial administrations as early as the 19th century recognised the tourist potential of Ososo and built the then Rest House which was a sort after holiday haven for most of the white people working in Nigeria at that time. The military administrator of Edo State Mohammed Abul-Salam Onuka (1993–1994) made some attempt to develop the tourist potential of Ososo. Some other governments have attempted to raise the status of the then rest house to Tourist Centre, but attempts have not yielded the expected results. However, the tourism potentials of Ososo received a boost recently as Nigerian Breweries PLC (makers of Gulder larger beer), relaunch their 2011 Gulder Ultimate Search Season 8, in Egbetua, Ososo.
Ososo Tourist Centre. Ososo town is on the boundary between Edo and Kogi States, is hilly and rocky. It lies about 40 kilometres from Igarra and 200 kilometres from Benin city in Edo State, The rocks and hills present a beautiful scenery. There is a non-catering Rest House on top of a hill at Ososo, which grants a wide view of parts of Kogi State to as far as the river Niger. From the Rest House can be seen some distance away a crater lake with colourful fishes. An amusement park is being developed as part of the resort which has tem- perate weather for long periods in the year.
From the tourist centre, a rest house renovated by the Edo state government, there is a beautiful sight of rocks expanding all the way to Kogi state.
– Ososo Carnival Cultural Event