The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has lifted the suspension order imposed on the annual Egungun celebration in Ibadan following a series of violent incidents in two distinct districts of the city last week.
This was featured in a press statement made accessible to media in Ibadan on Friday by Oladele Ogunsola, Olubadan’s Personal Assistant (Media). It was said that the suspension was lifted following reconciliation between the Olubadan Palace and the heads of the land’s masquerades (Alaagbaas).
Following this development, a letter was sent to the Oyo State Police Commissioner, requesting that the Command make adequate provision for security coverage for the masquerades and their supporters, emphasizing that there has been a peaceful agreement between the palace and Alaagbaas adherents.
“Following this development, His Imperial Majesty therefore seeks your esteemed cooperation by ensuring adequate security coverage for the masquerades and their supporters, just as an order is also given that whoever engages in any act of violence must not be allowed to go free,” the letter to the CP continues.
“His Imperial Majesty reiterates his zero tolerance for any form of brigandage or violence during the festival and at all times,” the statement continued.
It will be remembered that Olubadan wielded the big stick due to violent incidents, but had to be indulgent with the adherents due to the importance of the festival to the metropolis, with a firm warning that any masquerade found fomenting unrest would face absolute ban.
The Alaagbaas, who appealed with Olubadan to temper justice with kindness, stated that the violence was caused by hoodlums hiding under the cover of the festival to attack innocent residents and pillage shops, not by rivalry between opposing masquerades.
They (Alaagbaas) urged security agents to be more committed to the safety of people’s lives and property, saying, “we don’t believe or engage in violence as admonished by our revered monarch, and we pledge our cooperation with security agents not to interfere in their line of duty.”
“Let them arrest whoever is found causing trouble, and anyone who shows up with the intention of obtaining bail for such identified and arrested criminal should be detained alongside the culprit.”