Don’t Close Market for Any Festival – Ondo Govt Overrules Deji

The Ondo State government has overruled the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Adedelusi, over the closure of market and shops during festivals in Akure, the state capital.

Oba Aladelusi had through his Chief Press Secretary, Micheal Adeyeye, ordered the closure of the market on Friday during the Aheregbe festival.

According to him, the closure became necessary as part of the requirement in observing the age-long tradition of the annual Aheregbe festival.

Adeyeye said: “It is important to emphasize that there shall be no trading or opening of shops under any guise during the festival.

“Residents, market women and shop owners are kindly enjoined to comply with this directive.

“However, only pharmacy shops and patent medicine stores are exempted from the closure of their shops during the festival

“The festival will not in any way restrict both human and vehicular movement.”

But, the state government in a swift reaction through the Information and Orientation Commissioner, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said that the state government had last year ruled against such closure of markets in any part of the state.

Ademola-Olateju said in a statement: “On August 24, 2022, one of the decisions made by the Executive Council was that there shall be no closure of market in any part of the state without the approval of the Governor.

“The statement credited to Mr. Michael Adeyeye, the Press Secretary of His Majesty, the Deji of Akure constitutes a clear violation of an existing order of the Government, and an abridgement of the right of Akure residents to the pursuance of their livelihood.

“The public should note that even if an approval was sought, such closure would have been limited to Ọjà-Ọba (Oba’s Market) in Akure.

“We urge our respected Royal father, His Majesty, the Deji of Akure to respect the government decision and refrain from any action that can inconvenience, and, or inflict economic pain to Akure inhabitants.

“We also ask that the cordial relationship between the revered stool of the Deji not be drawn into open confrontation with the government.

“Akure residents are urged to go about their normal businesses on Friday and beyond, in pursuance of their freedoms. No market or shop shall be closed by anyone either by coercion or threat of force before, during or after Aheregbe festival.

“Whoever flies in the face of this directive will draw the ire of the government.”

The commissioner said that the government of Ondo State asked that everyone should be law abiding and move about freely in pursuit of happiness.