The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of the Ijebu Kingdom, Oba Sikiru Adetona, have cancelled the 2021 Ojude Oba Festival scheduled to hold next week after the Eid-el Kabir celebrations due to the detection of lethal COVID-19 Delta variant in the country.
This was disclosed in a statement titled, ‘2021 Ojude Oba Festival Cancelled’, released and signed by the coordinator of the festival and Baagbimo of Ijebu, Chief Fassy Yusuf, on Thursday.
“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),” it stated.
Oba Adetona thanked his people for the peace and progress in Ijebuland and prayed for more economic and social prosperity. He further advised his people and 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.”
The Ojude Oba Festival held annually, is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in the South-West region of the country, attracting top multinationals as sponsors as well as tourists and culture enthusiasts attending from different parts of the world.