Traditional festival: Ondo govt overrules Akure monarch’s order to close markets


The Ondo State Government has overruled the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, regarding the closure of markets in the state capital for the community’s annual traditional “Aheregbe” festival.

According to the government, the closure of markets violated the decision of the State Executive Council and infringed upon the freedom and rights of the citizens.

The monarch had on Thursday, through his Chief Press Secretary, Michael Adeyeye, defended the closure of markets, citing the necessity to observe the age-long tradition of the annual Aheregbe Festival.

In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the government expressed its disagreement with Deji’s directive.

The statement emphasised the importance of respecting the decisions made by the State Executive Council, which the Commissioner said serves as the governing body responsible for making crucial decisions on behalf of the state.

The Commissioner further stressed that the closure of markets would impede the daily activities and livelihoods of the citizens, as well as disrupt the economic activities within Akure metropolis.

She added that the government will ensure that the freedom and rights of the people are not impeded and residents are not unduly restricted in their business transactions under any guise of the traditional festival.

In the statement titled “Akure Shops and Markets Will Stay Open During Aheregbe Festival,” the government said “On August 24, 2022, one of the decisions made by the Executive Council was that; there shall be no closure of markets in any part of the state without the approval of the Governor.

“The statement credited to Mr. Michael Adeyeye, the Press Secretary of His Majesty, the Deji of Akure constitutes a clear violation of an existing order of the Government, and an abridgement of the right of Akure residents to the pursuance of their livelihood.”

Meanwhile, the conflicting positions between the state government and the Deji of Akure have resulted in confusion among residents.

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