By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Olubadan of Ibadanland,Oba Salisu Adetunji has warned masquerades to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the land, as they embarked on Masaurades (Egungun) festival scheduled to hold from next week.
He directed the pathfinders and the Egunguns to observe their rituals from their respective homes as the festival lasted.
The Ibadan monarch gave the warning in a press statement signed by his Personal Assistant and Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Adeola Oloko, which was made available to journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The monarch declared that, the decision not to have long procession this year is connected with the news of coronavirus pandemic and the need to observe rules associated with social distancing as this year’s Egungun festival gets underway
The royal father noted that the rowdy nature of the Egungun festival has made it imperative for all masquerades to stay at home and perform all necessary rites until the authorities’ state otherwise.
The monarch called on the masquerades to use their spiritual prowess in praying against the pandemic, explaining that the decision was reached after extensive consultation with the relevant authorities and stakeholders.
Olubadan however urged all the people to take precautions by washing their hands, use a face mask and maintain social distancing at all times to curb the spread of the virus.