Apparently disturbed by the spread of the new COVID-19 variant and unending pandemic, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona has directed that this year’s Ojude Oba festival be cancelled. The festival is a traditional celebration usually hold two-day after muslims eid kabir (Ileya)
According to a press statement issued by the Coordinator of the Festival and Baagbimo of Ijebu, Chief (Dr.) Fassy Yusuf, the cancellation was attributed to the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, its likely upsurge with the Delta variant, and the negligible number of people that had taken the anti-COVID 19 vaccine.
The statement stated that rather than expose people who will converge in Ijebu Ode from all over the world to participate in the ancient and unique socio-cultural and religious festival of the Ijebu nation, with its parade of traditional-age groups and the spectacular durbar with unsurpassable equestrian display, to avoidable and preventable health hazards, the monarch directed that the 2021 edition be cancelled.
This is the second time in its known history of more than one Century that the festival that unites Muslims, Christians, and adherents of other faiths will be canceled.
In his message to the Ijebu nation on the occasion of the 2021 Eid-el Kabir (10th of Dhul-Hijja 1442 AH), the monarch thanked his subjects for the peace, progress, and tranquillity pervading Ijebuland.
He prayed for additional economic and social prosperity within Ijebuland and charged his people to remain resolute and be optimistic that sooner than later, Ijebu State would become a reality.
Oba Adetona further charged his people and visitors to Ijebuland during and after the festival to ensure they comply with all protocols of wearing their nose masks, wash their hands regularly with soap, keep social and physical distances at public places, get vaccinated against the pandemic, and adhere to other medical protocols as directed by the federal, state, and local government authorities.
The Awujale thanked all the sponsors of the festival for the mutually beneficial partnerships that have ensured the unparalleled success of the annual festival in the past, while also hoping that the 2022 edition would be a reality.