Following clashes during Echeane festival in Ajaokuta Local Government, the Chairman of the local government, Hon Akaaba Aliyu Mustapha has suspended the festival till further notice.
Akaaba in a press statement notified the people of the local government, particularly Eganyi metropolis that all activities of the festival have been suspended with immediate effect.
He said: “The decision to suspend the cultural festival is in furtherance of my avowed resolve to maintain absolute peace that we have been enjoying for sometimes now
“As a government, it is not in our norms to tamper with our age-long festivity but as the Executive Chairman of the Local Government, I am duty-bound to uphold the sanctity of human lives, hence our proactive step (based on informed intelligence gathering) to suspend it.
“Also, in view of the misunderstanding that ensued earlier today, we wish to downplay all activities that are capable of aggravating the issue as government will not fold its arms and watch our hard earned peaceful coexistence being shredded into pieces.
” I have therefore encouraged all the security agencies (Nigeria Army, the DSS, Police, NSCDC, the state & Local Government Vigilantes and every other law enforcement agencies) to take immediate punitive action against anyone who make an attempt to disobey this order. Disobey this order at your own peril, this is a stern warning.
“I have also issued a notification to all our esteemed traditional rulers to assist in implementation of this order. Whoever is intending to flout this order should know that cultural festivals are better enjoyed in an atmosphere that is devoid of rancour and as a responsible government, we will try all our best within the ambit of law to ensure enthronement of peace and order.”