Olubadan suspends Egungun festival over violence

The traditional ruler of Ibadan Oba Lekan Balogun, has directed that the ongoing egungun(masquerade) festival should be suspended with immediate effect following reported cases of violence, arson and looting of shops.

Penpushing reports that Olubadan gave the order in a statement on Sunday made available by his personal assistant on media, Oladele Ogunsola, pointing out that the atrocities were perpetrated by some hoodlums hiding under cover of the Egungun festival in Ibadan.

The monarch in the  statement emphasized that he is  for peace, stressing that  there’s zero tolerance for whatever it is that will not give his people peace of mind, just as he equally summoned all the leaders of masquerades, known as ‘Alaagbaa’ in Ibadan land, to an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon at the ancient Aliiwo palace, Agodi, in Ibadan.

Penpushing further reports that in the statement the traditional ruler expressed sadness over the reported cases of violence accompanying the annual festival, describing the development as unfortunate and an affront to his palace because he had warned against turning the festival into an avenue to wreak havoc.

The royal father it is recalled had on Wednesday condemned the violence reported during the festival in the Alafara area, but the perpetrators of the violence seems to turn deaf ears as they engaged in continuity of the crimes

‘As if the warning was just a blabbing, the same thing was reported on Saturday on a scale that made the previous one a child’s play.I warned seriously against what is happening when the festival was to commence, and the assurances I got then were that nothing untoward would accompany the festival’, he said.

‘But, the reports coming to me have been at variance with those assurances I earlier got from the masquerades’ leaders. No responsible leader would fold his arms when the majority of those subjects one superintendents over are in agony and living in perpetual fear just because of the activities of a few misguided elements who find it difficult to be law-abiding.

‘This is why the suspension clause has to be invoked, and how long it lasts would be determined by the outcome of the Monday afternoon meeting. I’m for peace, and there’s zero tolerance for whatever it is that will not give my people peace of mind,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that the monarch insisted that the ugly past when the masquerade festival was usually a period of terror when perceived enemies became targets of attack and violence had been buried a long time ago, warning that any attempt to exhume it would be met with stiff sanctions.

Meanwhile, the traditional ruler called on the security agencies to remain up and doing, ensure no culprit is spared, declaring that whoever flouts the suspension order under whatever guise must be handled like a criminal.

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