The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun has lifted the suspension he slammed on Egungun Festival.
Oba Balogun had last Sunday announced the suspension of the festival due to spate of violences recorded last week in two different places within the metropolis.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspension was lifted after a prolonged dialogue and resolution of issues between the Olubadan Palace and the heads of masquerades (Alaagbaas) in the land surrounding the festival.
Following this development, a letter had been sent to the Oyo State Police Commissioner, requesting the Command to make adequate provision for security coverage for the masquerades and their supporters.
The letter stressed that the meeting between the Palace and the Alaagbaas earlier in the week ensured extraction of commitment to peaceful celebration of the festival from the adherents.
“Following this development, His Imperial Majesty therefore seeks for 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 scot free.
“His Imperial Majesty reiterates his zero tolerance for any form of brigandage or violence in the course of the celebration of the festival and at all times”, part of the letter read.
It would be recalled that Olubadan wielded the big stick owing to occurrences of violence, but had to be lenient with the adherents in view of the importance of the festival to the metropolis with a stern warning that any masquerade found fomenting trouble would face total ban.
The Alaagbaas, who pleaded with Olubadan to temper justice with mercy insisted that none of the violence that occurred was as a result of rivalry between opposing masquerades, but were caused by hoodlums, hiding under the cover of the festival to attack innocent residents and loot shops.
By Adebayo Waheed
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