Olubadan Suspends Egungun Festival Due to Violence and Looting

The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, has decided to suspend the annual Egungun festival following incidents of violence, arson, and looting by unidentified hoodlums. The suspension was announced in a press release issued by the monarch’s Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola.

In response to the reported cases of violence and brigandage during the festival, Oba Balogun has summoned all leaders of masquerades known as Alaagbaa in Ibadanland to an emergency meeting at the ancient Aliiwo Palace, Agodi in Ibadan on Monday afternoon.

Expressing his sadness over the situation, Oba Balogun described the incidents as unfortunate and an affront to his Palace. He had previously warned against the festival being used as an opportunity for havoc. The monarch had condemned similar violence during the festival just last Wednesday, but the incidents on Saturday were even more severe.

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“I warned seriously against what is happening when the festival was to commence, but the reports coming to me have been at variance with those assurances I earlier got from the masquerades’ leaders,” Oba Balogun stated. He emphasized that no responsible leader would ignore the suffering and fear experienced by his subjects due to the actions of a few individuals who refuse to abide by the law.

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The suspension of the festival will remain in effect until further notice, depending on the outcome of the meeting on Monday afternoon. Oba Balogun stressed that the era of terror during the masquerade festival, where enemies were targeted with violence, had long been put to rest and any attempt to revive it would be met with severe consequences.

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The monarch called on security agencies to be vigilant and ensure that no culprit goes unpunished. He made it clear that anyone who violates the suspension order will be treated as a criminal. Oba Balogun reiterated his commitment to peace and his zero tolerance for anything that disrupts the peace of his people.


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