Olubadan Suspends Egungun Festival

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The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, has taken a decisive step to suspend the annual Egungun festival in Ibadan. The decision came in response to reports of violence, arson, and the looting of shops by unidentified hoodlums who exploited the festival as a cover.

The press release, issued on behalf of the monarch by his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola, expressed Olubadan’s deep concern and disappointment over the incidents of violence and chaos that marred the festival. The monarch viewed such occurrences as unfortunate and a direct challenge to his authority, as he had previously warned against the festival being used as a platform for havoc.

Furthermore, Oba Balogun has called for an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon with all leaders of masquerades, known as Alaagbaa, in Ibadanland. The gathering will take place at the historic Aliiwo Palace in Agodi, Ibadan.

The monarch emphasized that the masquerade festival should not be tainted by acts of aggression, as he had vehemently condemned a similar episode just a few days prior. Despite assurances from the masquerade leaders, the reports received regarding the festival’s conduct contradicted those promises, prompting the Olubadan to take decisive action.

In his statement, Oba Balogun stressed that a responsible leader cannot ignore the suffering and fear experienced by the majority of his subjects due to the actions of a few unruly individuals. Invoking the suspension clause will serve as a necessary response to address the situation, with the duration to be determined based on the outcome of Monday afternoon’s meeting.

The Olubadan emphasized that the era of using the masquerade festival as an opportunity for terrorizing perceived enemies had long been left behind, and any attempt to revive such practices would be met with severe consequences.

Additionally, the monarch called upon the security agencies to remain vigilant and ensure that those responsible for the violence and disregard of the suspension order face appropriate legal action. His Imperial Majesty emphasized his commitment to peace and the well-being of his people, stating that there would be zero tolerance for anything that disrupts their tranquillity.

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