Harassment: Ewi suspends masquerade festival in Ado Ekiti

Following disorderliness being caused in Ado Ekiti metropolis and harassment of innocent citizens, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, has suspended masquerade festival/celebration in the town.

The ban, according to a reliable source, was fallout of the persistent harassment of innocent people and barrage of complaints lodged at Ewi’s palace by those that were manhandled by adherents of the masquerade and others that daily patrolled the streets.

Findings revealed that some of the masquerades and their followers, who normally go on rampage,  brandishing long cudgels and charms, were in the habit of coercing the traders and passers-by to pay money or part with food items, failing which they would be flogged severely and  inflicted bodily injuries on them.

Oba Adejugbe, in an announcement broadcast on the state-owned radio station, told the Commissioner of Police, Mr Etop James, to carry out the order in the interest of public orderliness in the capital city.

The monarch also warned the chiefs against flouting the order, saying they would be held liable for any breach of public peace if any masquerade traceable to their quarters should defy the temporary ban.

The advert said: “In view of the information at our disposal about the activities of the masquerades in Ado Ekiti metropolis in recent, the Ewi-in-Council hereby place temporary ban on masquerade festival until we meet on Thursday, September 15 to review our action.

“Our revered monarch, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, places high premium on peaceful co-existence among the residents of Ado Ekiti and we hereby urge the police to arrest any masquerade sighted in the capital city until contrary directive issued.

“We also warn that all the chiefs, particularly the quarter chiefs, should ensure that the directive is effected in their sections for they will be held liable for any masquerade found to have emanated from any section of the town.”

Several calls to the Public Relations Officer of the Police Command, Ekiti State, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, to confirm the level of preparedness of his men to carry out the directive were fruitless.