Many were shocked when devotees assembled to mark this year’s Osun Oshogbo Festival on Friday despite the Osun State Government’s ban on social activities
TheNewsGuru recalls that the Osun State Government cancelled all social activities because of the increase in the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
An official statement made by the state government through the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Hon Obawale Adebisi, noted that the observance of traditional rites and routines associated with the festival are approved; Also, only authorized persons and worshippers will be allowed into the grove. These worshippers must, however, obey the state government’s COVID-19 protocols.
At the anticipated festival on Friday, worshippers disobeyed directive banning social activities associated with the festival. Social distancing was not observed while some of the devotees and worshippers were not using facemasks.
Security operatives, including Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Osun Security Network codenamed ‘Amotekun corps’ were positioned at three junctions before the Osun Osogbo groove
Beer joints along palace road adjoining the groove were opened and many people were seen drinking in clusters with use of face masks. They were entertained by drummers.
There was however strict compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols at the groove where the monarch and Osun State Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, stayed to mark the festival but after the ceremony had ended; there was a surge of worshippers thronging into the groove.
At the groove, the Osun State Governor, Oyetola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Obawale Adebisi, commended Ataoja and Osun Osogbo worshippers for the support given to the state government.