By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji on Sunday warned that there will be no room for the usage of guns and other dangerous weapons during this this year’s Egungun festival kicking off on Monday.
Oba Adetunji handed down the warning at his Popoyemoja, Ibadan palace in his message made available to newsmen by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Alhaji Adeola Oloko.
The royal father emphasized that there is the need for a peaceful celebration of the festival among diverse people of the ancient town hence the need for the masquerade and their followers to be law abiding during the celebration.
According to Oba Adetunji. , the Egungun festival is a month long celebration of the rich custom and tradition of the people, and that the festival ‘is not a license for hoodlums to unleash terror and violence on the society. ”
Lamenting the pockets of violence in the previous year’s Egungun festivities in Ibadan, Oba Adetunji warned that there would be zero-tolerance for violence this year.
He said the masqueraders and their followers are expected to follow the routes already lined up for them by the law enforcement agents, warning that any masquerader who goes against the route lined up for him risks the wrath of the law.
Specifically. Oba Adetunji declared that the use of dangerous weapons such as guns, daggers, swords, bottles and machetes etc etc is outlawed, saying, 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 masqueraders.
OnMonday, the Olubadan would be on hand to receive the masqueraders at the popoyemoja, Ibadan palace where they are expected to offer prayers and receive gifts.
The festival is expected to be rounded up in July.