FOR disturbing peace and orderliness in Ado Ekiti metropolis, harassing innocent and law abiding citizens, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, has placed a temporary ban on masquerade festivals. The ‘Paragogo’ masquerade being worshipped by Odogun family in Oke Iyinmi, Ado Ekiti was arrested on Saturday, following the alleged harassment of traders operating at Erekesan Market and other sections within the capital city. The ban came as a result of the persistent harassment of innocent people and many complaints lodged at the Ewi’s palace by those that were manhandled by adherents of the masquerade and others that daily patrol the streets. Investigations showed that some of the masquerades and their followers, who normally go on rampage, brandishing long cudgels and charms, were in the habit of coercing traders and passers-by to pay money or part with food items, failing in which they would be given several beatings and inflicted with bodily injuries. Oba Adejugbe, while reacting to this development in a paid advert aired on the state owned media, told the Commissioner of Police, Mr Etop James, to carry out the order in the interest of peace and orderliness. The monarch also warned chiefs against flouting the order, saying they would be held liable for any breach of public peace if any masquerade traceable to their quarters defies the temporary ban.
The message said: “In view of the information at our disposal about the activities of masquerades in Ado Ekiti metropolis, the Ewi-in- Council hereby places a temporary ban on masquerade festivals until we meet on Thursday, September 15 to review our action. “Our revered monarch places high premium on peaceful co- existence among residents of Ado-Ekiti and we hereby urge the police to arrest any masquerade sighted in the capital city until a contrary directive issued. We also warn that all chiefs, particularly quarter chiefs, should ensure that the directive is effected in their sections, as they will be held liable for any masquerade found to have emanated from any section of the town.’ as he called on the police to prepare his men to carry out the directive