The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun has ordered immediate suspension of the ongoing annual Egungun festival in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State.
Oba Balogun gave the suspension order in Sunday following widespread of bloody violence , arson and looting of shops by suspected hoodlums in Ibadan.
The traditional ruler expressed sadness and disappointment over reported cases violence that has dogged the annual festival since it commenced a week ago.
Oba Balogun described the development as affront on the tradition and culture of Ibadan people, saying that he will not allow further denigration of the culture of his subjects.
“I use this medium to call on the security agencies to remain up and doing and ensure no culprit is spared.
He directed security agents to deal decisively with any violators of the suspension order.
“Whoever flouts the suspension order just given under whatever guise must be handled like a criminal.
“I’m for peace and there’s zero tolerance for whatever it is that will not give my people peace of mind,” he said.
The Traditional ruler then
summoned Alagbaa, the head of masquerades and all other leaders of masquerades in Ibadanland to his palace for an emergency meeting on Monday.
Recall that Oba Balogun had on Wednesday condemned similar violence during the same festival that was reported at Alafara Olubadan.
“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 earlier got from the masquerades’ leaders.
“No responsible leader would fold his arms or put on the cap of I care less when 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 meeting of Monday afternoon,” Olubadan Balogun stated.