Ekuechi Festival Ban: No Celebration in Okehi; Adavi Considers Measures for Peaceful Masquerade Outings

 

As the date draws nearer for the annual celebration of Ekuechi festival in Ebira Land, the ban on the festival by the state government for security reasons has left frontline traditional stakeholders at crossroads taking decisions. 

Okene, Okehi and Adavi are the major three local governments in the central senatorial district of Kogi State where the festival is much more celebrated simultaneously. 

The local government Chairmen, excluding Okene, yesterday convened a security meeting to discuss way to go and have come out with different decisions. 

ebirareporters.com gathered that Okene could not hold same meeting because the Chairman, Abdulrazaq Muhammad had been suspended by the State House of Assembly, while his Vice who assumed the seat barely few days ago was still finding her feet. 

Thus, the Okehi Chair, Abdulraheem Ohiare after a meeting with district heads and traditional rulers, ruled that the festival would remain banned indefinitely. 

According to Ohiare, the local government has had an overbearing rife which has not benefited them, urging the stakeholders to prioritize peaceful resolution of lingering crises and community development. 

Meanwhile, the Adavi Council Chairman, Joseph Omuya Salami in his meeting with the stakeholders said the ban on the festival should remind them to secure peaceful celebration. 

The Chairman reeled out conditions for the celebration of the festival in Adavi as outlined in a statement by his media aide, Muhammed Jamiu Habib. 

– The masked masquerade custodians (Eku echichi) meant for Echeane that do not belong in this end of year traditional festivals are henceforth banned from appearing in Okehi and Ekuechi periods because of their molestation of people at night of the particular day.

– All masquerade custodians, their club members and individuals are to arrive their display venue not later than 7pm to avoid wrath of the government if found wanting.

– The leadership of the local government cautioned all masquerade custodians to devoid of vulgar songs that have long caused hatred between their members, Promised special monitoring of their activities by the government on the very night of that day as a means of assessing their level of compliance. 

– Total ban of knock-out shooting on the day of the festivities. 

– Instructed the Central Community Chairman to mandate all the other 158 component Adavi communities branch Chairmen to carry out the public announcements in their various communities to disseminate the sent messages across.

The stakeholders in their various contributions unanimously agreed with the chairman on all of the aforementioned guidelines and promised utmost compliance with all the directives. 

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