Oyo masquerades yesterday defied the directive by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, that only him and the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde should play host to the masquerades this year, as they came out in their large numbers and converged on the Aliiwo family house of Otun Olubadan, Oba Sen Lekan Balogun to entertain him and his guests. Ahead of the commencement of the annual festival on Monday, Oba Adetunji had through his personal assistant/ director of Media and Publicity, Mr Adeola Oloko instructed that, “only the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde and the Olubadan of Ibadanland would be entertained by the masquerades”.
But, the masquerades turned out in large numbers, coming into the large compound one after the other to entertain Oba Balogun, who was accompanied by his colleague-Obas, including Balogun of Ibadanland, Owolabi Olakulehin, Eddy Oyewole, Lateef Adebimpe, Hamidu Ajibade among others to shower gifts on the masquerades as they danced happily and prayed for peace, stability, growth and development of Ibadanland.
The climax of the festival which was interspersed with acrobatic display by the local gymnasts was the traditional killing of a dog, a ritual statutorily reserved for one of the foremost masquerades in Ibadanland, ‘Atipako’. Speaking with journalists after the ritual which was followed by a heavy downpour, Oba Balogun described the programme as ‘incredibly fantastic’ just as he wondered why the Olubadan should insist that he alone among the members of Olubadan-inCouncil should receive the masquerades in his palace.