Olubadan warns against violence as ‘egungun’ festival starts May

Lekan Balogun

The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has warned handlers and followers of egungun against any form of violence or criminal activities ahead of this year’s egungun festival starting next month.

The monarch said this year’s festival must be held devoid of the usual hooliganism which led to the loss of lives in the past.

Oba Balogun said this on Monday during the visit of heads of egungun cults (Alaagbaas) under the umbrella of Ojesowapo at his Alarere residence.

The monarch urged the Alaagbaas to help sanitise the festival towards making the purpose of the celebration including praying against evil occurrences and general entertainment of the residents to be fulfilled.

He stressed that the Palace would not tolerate the breakdown of law and order under the guise of egungun festival.

Olubadan promised to give the group all the necessary support and assistance required of the Palace for the successful hosting of the festival whenever the time comes, but, insisted that everything must be done within the ambit of the law.

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The head of the group, who is the Alaagbaa of Agugu, Ojebiyi Adepoju, told Olubadan that the purpose of the visit was to pay homage and sensitize the Palace on the annual festival starting next month.

He disclosed that efforts were being put in place to ensure that the festival is held without the attendant rancour, noting that, “we are conscious of the unpalatable image the festival had acquired in the past and we are ready to change it.

Adepoju said, “The visit to the Palace is to inform Kabiyesi of our efforts in that direction and to solicit the Palace’s support because we need the cooperation and assistance of the security agencies to achieve our goal.

“We are fully prepared for a successful and hitch-free festival. We are ready to do away with the past ugly incidents associated with the festival and we are very happy with the promise of assurances received from our Kabiyesi.”

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