The Oyo State Government has appealed to the custodians of the Egungun festival in the state not to renege on their promise of celebrating a festival devoid of violence and hooliganism.
The government said that peace, security and safety has been consistently at the fore during the series of stakeholders’ meetings involving heads of masquerades across the state (the Olori Alaagba), the Aare Isese from all the geographical zones of Oyo State and custodians of the masquerades with government officials at the Ministry of information, Culture and Tourism, saying that representatives of the government’s security department have always been in attendance at such meetings preceding the 2018 Egungun season.
The government in a joint statement by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Community Relations, Alhaji Bidemi Siyanbade stated that another stakeholder meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 20 at 12 noon to further deliberate and consolidate the modalities and conduct of Masquerades during the 2018 Egungun Festival to give it the prominence it deserves and promote its rich cultural values and tourism potentials.
The government disclosed that 23 out of the 27 Egunguns in the state have signed a non-violence pact with the Oyo State Police Command, stressing that it has also secured the commitment and readiness of the security agencies in the state to maintain peace, law and order during the period of the Egungun festival.
The government commended the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji for keying into the Governor Abiola Ajimobi peace initiative during the festival with his admonition to the custodians of the Masquerades (Egungun) to maintain peace and order, urging that Masquerades should curb the excesses of their followers as promised during the meetings with the state government officials.
The government called on the Masquerades to celebrate the 2018 Egungun festival in the age long norms and traditions of the Egungun Festival albeit in a non-violent manner.
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