Olubadan preaches peace as annual ‘Egungun’ festival kicks off in Ibadan

Posted by Timige, On 26 Jun, 2023 | Updated On 27 Jun, 2023 No Comments »



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The Annual Egungun festival has commenced in Ibadan with the paramount ruler of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun urging the worshippers to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

This was contained in the press statement made available to journalists in Ibadan by Oladele Ogunsola, the Personal Assistant (Media) to the monarch after the payment of the traditional homage to Oba Balogun at his ancient Aliiwo palace, where members of his Advisory Council teamed up with him to host the masquerades.

Oba Balogun, who maintained that the Egungun festival is an ancient one that could not be rubbished maintained that “over the years, the festival has maintained its relevance by refusing to be eroded by civilization, religion and all the phases of technology and enjoined the adherents to respect the rights of others”.

He disclosed that the era of hooliganism and gangsterism during which shops were looted and perceived opponents violently attacked should be consigned to the dustbin of history just as he charged that anybody found culpable in any act inimical to the peace and tranquillity of the metropolis would be left to the dictates of the law.

Olubadan also charged the adherents to start thinking of how to give the annual festival global mileage by making it a tourist-attractive celebration that could attract foreigners and investors, adding, “by that, the beauty of the festival would be made known to the outside world and its economic advantage expanded”.

The monarch prayed for the people of Ibadanland to witness more of the celebration in good condition of health and asked them to also give due respect to the rules guiding the celebration of the festival, reminding them that just as he charged for the protection of the resident’s rights, he equally plead for reciprocity for the adherents.

“We are all citizens of the country and entitled to peaceful coexistence and this can only be achieved when we have respect for one another. This charge becomes imperative in view of the peculiar outing of one of the masquerades, ‘Oloolu’ which must not be witnessed by the female gender. This is an agelong tradition that must be respected”, Oba Balogun added.

The main highlight of the celebration which had in attendance some of the members of the Olubadan Advisory Council including Balogun of Ibadanland, his Otun, Osi and Ekarun Balogun, High Chiefs Owolabi Olakulehin, Tajudeen Ajibola, Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe and Abiodun Dauda Azeez as well as some Mogajis and Baales was the traditional sacrificing of a dog to the ‘Ogun’ (god of iron) by a traditionally sanctioned Egungun known as ‘Atipako’.

In the meantime, due to the Eid-el-Kabir festival which almost coincided with the annual traditional festival, the Egungun festival has been suspended till next week to avoid a clash between Islamic faithful and Egungun festival adherents. This, according to the monarch was the decision of his Council before yesterday’s date was fixed and it was done in recognition of the need to respect the individual and collective rights of all Ibadan residents.

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