The Ogidi Community in Idemili North local government area of Anambra state has ban masquerades along the major roads in the area during the four-day Nwafor festival’ in the community.
The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Alex Onyido while speaking on the activities to mark this year’s festival warns youths against violence and wielding weapon instead of cane during the masquerade display period.
He said that the ban was inline with the state government law that no masquerade should be paraded long the roads to avoid harassment of road users and free flow of traffic.
The monarch said that the festival which will mark the end of farming season in the community would last for four days starting from midnight 22nd July which was initiation of boys into masquerade manhood and the festival ends on Sunday July 24, 2021.
Igwe Onyido said that on Sunday, all the masquerades that participated in this year’s Nwafor would converge on his palace to surrender their canes used during the festival, according the customs and traditions of the community to mark the end of the festival.
He warned that any masquerade seen on the roads disturbing motorists and passersby would be arrested by security operatives while the defaulters would be sanctioned according to the tradition.
He also warned cultists to steer clear from the festival, saying that no form of violence activities would be tolerated during the festival and urged parents to advise their children to avoid, had I known.
According to him, “Masquerades don’t beg money on the road in our community, it is a taboo in our community because it is a spirit and should not beg human beings money”.
“So if we catch anybody doing that we will arrest him and hand him over to security agents. So, I am advising them to be peaceful, less alcohol, no violence and those who are not participating should leave the arena. The youths should not wield weapons like gun, knives, dagger, bottles etc. let us manage ourselves very well so that we celebrate the ceremony and be live to see next the season”
“No cultism during the ceremony Ogidi has said no to cultism and we have zero tolerance to cultism, let every parents warn their children. We have security personnels to on ground to arrest anybody or group of persons that will cause crisis during the festival”Igwe Onyido warned.
Photo: Igwe Onyido while breaking cola nut for the commencement of Nwafor Festival in his palace in Ogidi.
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