Olubadan Suspends Egungun Festival Over Violence

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The Olubadan of Ibadan, Moshood Olalekan Balogun, has taken a decisive step by ordering the suspension of the ongoing Egungun festival following disturbing incidents involving violence, arson, and looting of shops in the capital city.

Olubadan Suspends Egungun Festival Over Violence
The revered monarch stated on Sunday, through his personal media aide, Oladele Ogunsola.

The Egungun festival, an annual communal ceremony held in southwestern Nigeria to pay homage to Yoruba ancestors, has been marred by a wave of lawlessness. Balogun expressed his deep concern over the acts of violence carried out by some individuals who took advantage of the festival in Ibadan.

To address this escalating situation, the traditional ruler has summoned all the leaders of masquerades, known as ‘Alaagbaa’ in Ibadan, for an emergency meeting scheduled on July 17 at the historic Aliiwo Palace in Agodi.

Expressing his sadness over the reported cases of violence that have plagued the festival, Balogun described the situation as unfortunate and a direct affront to his palace. He had previously condemned the violence witnessed during the festival in the Alafara area of Ibadan.

Olubadan remarked, “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. But the reports coming to me have been at variance with those assurances I got from the masquerades’ leaders earlier.

He continued, “No responsible leader would fold his arms when the majority of those subjects one superintendent 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 meeting of Monday afternoon. I’m for peace and there’s zero tolerance for whatever it is that will not give my people peace of mind.” Balogun declared.

The Olubadan also called upon the security agencies to maintain peace and order during this period. He emphasized that anyone who violates the suspension order, regardless of their justification, will be treated as a criminal.

As the community awaits the outcome of the meeting, the decision to suspend the Egungun festival reflects Olubadan’s commitment to protecting the welfare and safety of his people, seeking to restore peace and harmony to Ibadan.

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