Don’t Kill over Ban on Traditional Festivals, Ekiti Elders Tell Youth

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Kayode Fayemi

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Ekiti Council of Elders yesterday urged youths to refrain from killing over the government’s directive to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The council made the appeal in a statement by its President, Prof Joseph Oluwasanmi and Secretary, Mr. Niyi Ajibulu after two persons were killed in Ire Ekiti, Oye Ekiti Local Government due to the ban of Ogun Onire Festival.

The state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi had placed a ban on celebration of traditional festivals pending the time COVID 19 would subside nationwide.

The victims were killed during a violent crisis that erupted in the town yesterday due to Onire of Ire Ekiti, Oba Victor Bobade’s decision to enforce the government’s directive by ordering adherents to halt the most coveted Ogun festival in Ekiti.

In its statement after the death of two persons yesterday, the council appealed to the youth across the state to show understanding over the directive of the state government.

The statement said: “Ekiti Council is shocked at the violence at Ire Ekiti over the celebration of Ogun festival. It regrets the loss of lives and destruction of property and we also sympathise with Oba Victor Bobade and the entire community.

“Ire Ekiti town is known all over the world for peaceful Ogun celebration annually; a ceremony that is fast becoming a global event and which stakeholders are striving to turn into a big tourist attraction.

“Ogun is the god of iron, innovation, and industry that should ordinarily lead to development and not skirmish under any guise whatsoever.

“The council urges the government and our leaders to always show understanding of our youth exuberances. The youth must understand that it is the government and traditional institution’s responsibilities to prevent communicable diseases from assuming endemic proportions.

“Council stresses on the need to always engage the youth in discussions as we are pushing ahead to ensure that they are properly integrated into profitable ventures, for the devil they say finds works for the isle hands,” it said.