Ekiti monarch bars public celebration of festival

The Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, on Monday announced ban on the public celebration of the yearly Udiroko Festival of the community billed for August 30 to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Oba Adejugbe said that rather, this year’s Udiroko would witness a gathering of less than 30 key chiefs from the different quarters in the palace “to pray for Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State and Nigeria and as well end to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The traditional ruler, who spoke at a press conference on activities for the festival, said, “As a pride of our cultural togetherness as a people, the Udiroko yearly celebration with pomp and pageantry is compulsory. However, this would not happen this year because of the COVID-19 pestilence and the need to combat it and cooperate with the state and federal governments in ensuring that it does not spread.”

The monarch said the festival had been “designed in such a way that no outsiders or general public would be invited and as such, the day would be marked in private” just as the chiefs in attendance “would absolutely observe the social distancing and other requisite guidelines/rules of the COVID-19 management.”

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