As this year’s Egungun festival begins on Monday in Ibadan, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 has called for peaceful celebration of the festival among diverse people of the ancient city.
The first class monarch made this known at his Popoyemoja, Ibadan palace on Sunday in his message to the people. Noting that the Egungun festival is a month long celebration of the rich custom and tradition of the people, Oba Adetunji explained that the festival is not a license for hoodlums to unleash terror and violence on the society.
The Olubadan who regretted pockets of violence in the previous year’s festivities warned that there would be zero-tolerance for violence this year. He called on the people to join hands with the law enforcement agents in maintaining peace, noting that whoever causes any security breach would be prosecuted.
According to the Olubadan, the masquerades and their followers are expected to follow the routes already lined up for them by the law enforcement agents, warning that any masquerade who goes against the route lined up for him risks the wrath of the law.
He stated further that the use of dangerous weapons such as guns, daggers, swords, bottles and machetes is outlawed. He warned that he would not seek the bail of any one who goes against the law of the land in the name of Egungun celebration.
This year, only the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde and the Olubadan of Ibadanland would be entertained by the masquerades. On Monday, the Olubadan would be on hand to receive the masquerades at the Popoyemoja, Ibadan palace where they are expected to offer prayers and receive gifts.
The festival is expected to be rounded off in July.
The Olubadan of Ibadanland