The yearly Ibadan Egungun Festival began yesterday, just as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, has called for peaceful conduct from all sets of masquerades and their followers in the course of the 3-week-long festival.
Noting that the annual egungun festival is a celebration of Ibadan custom and tradition, Olubadan warned that the festival should not be turned into an avenue to unleash terror and violence on the people.
According to Palace Spokesman, Adeola Oloko in a media release, Oba Adetunji stated that law enforcement agents have assured the people of their readiness to maintain law and order by arresting and prosecuting offenders with intent to cause mayhem during the festival.
Said he: “As a monarch, my appeal to our people is to celebrate the festival within the ambit of the law. Also, I will like to persuade our people to avoid use of dangerous weapons like guns, daggers, machetes and broken bottles not only during the egungun festival but also after it as the long arm of the law would not spare any merchant of violence’
Last year, about 18 vehicles were destroyed around Akuro and Igbonna Area, Ibadan when some masquerades and their followers engaged street urchins in a free-for-all, leaving the residents to tell tales of woes.