The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr) Sikiru Adetona, has announced the cancellation of 2021 edition of the annual Ojude Oba Festival scheduled to hold next week after Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
This was announced in a statement issued by signed by the coordinator of the festival and Baagbimo of Ijebu, Chief Fassy Yusuf.
According to the statement, Awujale attributed the cancellation of the annual fiesta to the detection of the lethal COVID-19 Delta variant in Nigeria.
“Rather than expose peoples 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 cancelled. The Ojude Oba Festival is normally held two days after the Eid-el Kabir (Ileya),” the statement reads partly.
The monarch, however, thanked his subjects for the peace and progress in Ijebuland and prayed for more economic and social prosperity.
Oba Adetona further charged his subjects as well as visitors to Ijebuland “to ensure they wear 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”.
Adetona also prayed for the return of peace and prosperity to all troubled areas of Nigeria.
The festival was earlier scheduled to hold next week after the Eid-el Kabir celebrations.