Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, has directed all masquerades in Ibadanland to observe the Egungun festival in their respective homes to prevent spread of COVID-19 in the state.
He gave the directive as confirmed cases in Oyo State hit 282 as at May 30, with 96 discharged cases, six deaths, and 180 active cases.
The first-class monarch made the order as the festival has been billed to begin this week, saying the directives does not spare any masquerade, irrespective of grades. The masquerades include Alapansanpa, Oloolu, Oyi, Abidi-Elege, and Atipako.
He said the decision was reached after extensive consultation with the relevant authorities and stakeholders.
Oba Adetunji made the disclosure in a release by his Personal Assistant and Director of Media and Publicity, Adeola Oloko, in Ibadan, yesterday.
Apart from observing their rituals from their respective homes, he also tasked the masquerades to pray for the speedy end to COVID-19 pandemic.
“The decision not to have long procession this year is not unconnected with the novel coronavirus pandemic and the need to observe rules associated with social distancing.
“The boisterous nature of the festival has made it imperative for all masquerades to stay-at-home and perform necessary rites until the authorities state otherwise,” the monarch said.