Ibadan masquerade to offer enclosed appeasements against COVID-19

Top in rituals of the Iponriku masquerade of Ibadan land, this year, will be making appeasements to the gods for an end to COVID-19 in the world.

The rituals will, however, be restricted to shrines and adherents’ compounds in deference to the order of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, banning masquerade parades this year.

Head, Ekerin Ajengbe family, which is the custodian of the Iponriku masquerade, Abdulfatai Adegoke, stated this while addressing journalists in Ibadan, on Monday.

He avowed that the result of the appeasements being made to the Iponriku masquerade which had commenced last year and will culminate in an enclosed masquerade festival next Sunday would be seen in the epidemic coming to an end soon.

“The masquerades just arrived this month and will see what is happening in the world and will pray that such an epidemic comes to an end. You will see the results of these appeasements and rituals,” Adegoke said.

Others present at the press conference were Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oloye Lekan Alabi; Chairman of the Ekerin Ajengbe family descendants’ union, Abdulkabir Ajibola; family masquerade’s daughter, Risikat Iponriku.

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Also speaking, the Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oloye Lekan Alabi, said the Iponriku masquerade will as usual offer appeasements against diseases outbreak, famine, improved harvest.

Alabi said the usual Iponriku masquerade rituals will be done in homes and shrines not because the masquerade feared COVID-19 but in respect to the Olubadan’s royal order aimed at preventing the crowd that will typically follow the masquerade.

Though he bemoaned that COVID-19 had handicapped the entire world, he expressed optimism that the coronavirus next masquerade festival will witness the usual parade.

“The masquerade is our ancestor who does not forget the family left behind. They talk to the family and pray for them.

“The masquerade also prays against famine, prays for increased harvest; prays against the outbreak of diseases; prays against war; prays that the expectant mothers deliver safety; that the youths will be prosperous.

“This coronavirus has handicapped the entire world, even the superpowers. We’ll do the rituals in our houses. We won’t bring out Iponriku which is usually followed by a crowd from all over the world.

“Each masquerade will not go about with followers but restrict itself to its shrine and compound. In strict obedience to the Olubadan’s order, we, the Iponriku masquerade, are complying.

“The Iponriku masquerade comes out once every three years and was meant to come out this year.

“We had commenced appeasement since last year but we have to comply with the Olubadan’s royal order. We’ll do the rituals within our confines.

“By God’s grace, we’ll do the masquerade parade in public in the next three years. Corona will be over this year so we’ll have the usual masquerade celebration by next three years time,” Alabi said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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