The annual Egungun Festival in Ibadanland which started on Sunday reportedly kicked off on a violent note and the paramount ruler of the town, Oba Saliu Adetunju has issued a stern warning to those concerned.
Reports gathered by PMParrot all day indicated that pockets of violence were recorded in Bere, Gege, Foko and Oje areas of the sprawling city as the different Egunguns (masquerades) danced around the town with their followers.
The Olubadan has, however, called for peaceful celebration of the festival among diverse people of the ancient town.
The first class monarch made this known at his Popoyemoja, Ibadan palace on Sunday in his message to the people.
He noted that the egungun festival is a month long celebration of the rich custom and tradition of the people.
Oba Adetunji also 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 dero-tolerance for violence this year.
He called on the people to join hands with the law enforcement agents in maintaining peace, noting that security breach would be prosecuted.
According to the Olubadan, 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.
He stated further that the use of dangerous weapons such as guns, daggers, swords, bottles and machetes and other is outlawed. He warned that he would not seek the bail of anyone 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. On Monday, 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.
Packaged by Alice Egbedele