The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II has called on security agencies to ensure that all those behind the Sunday bloody mayhem in some parts of Ibadan are fished out and made to face the wrath of the law.
Scores of residents of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital were injured , while property worth millions of naira were destroyed when a masquerade called ‘ Ege’ and his adherents attacked the people .
Many vehicles’ windscreen were smashed and damaged , motorcycles, and tricycles were not left out in the violent attack .
According to eyewitness account, many who sustained varying degrees of injuries were rushed to nearby health facility for medical attention .
A source said the ‘Ege’ masquerade and his adherents unleashed attack on unsuspecting members of the public , causing panic and pandemonium among the people last Sunday .
In a swift reaction , the prescribing authority in Ibadanland , Oba Balogun who frowned at the unwarranted attack on innocent members of the public threatened to ban any masquerade who indulge in some act.
The monarch called for thorough investigation of the incident and appropriate sanction meted to the culprits.
In a press statement made available to journalists in Ibadan by the Olubadan through his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola, Oba Balogun expressed disappointment over the ugly incident, wondering what became his warning to both the masquerades’ adherents and the members of public ahead the commencement of the annual festival?
According to him, “the reported media fracas at Alafara Olubadan last Sunday, to say the least was unfortunate and unexpected. Shortly before the festival begun, I admonished all to play according to the rules. Aside the spiritual aspect of the festival, it is also a form of entertainment and one cannot but wonders which of the two aspects of the festival attracts violence.
“It simply means some people have other motives outside of the accepted norms as far as the festival is concerned and it is on the basis of this that I’m instructing the security agencies to fish out the culprits and deal with them accordingly. To before warned is to before harmed. Whoever is found to have been the aggressor should not be spared”, Olubadan added.
Oba Balogun equally charged the masquerades’ handlers to make sure they respect the rights of the residents, bearing in mind that it is only when peace reigns that any festival could be successfully held, stressing that he would not hesitate to place a ban on any masquerade that is found causing trouble for the populace.
Conversely, the monarch said the residents too should respect the rights of the masquerades to avoid unnecessary clash, adding, “this becomes imperative because of the taboo associated with the appearance of ‘Oloolu’ masquerade which stipulates that women must not sight it. The festival is just for a few weeks in a year, so, I plead that we tolerate and accommodate ourselves for those few weeks”.