Osun-Osogbo Festival 2020: Participants disregard PTF COVID-19 protocols(photos)

By Tunde Olorungbotemi, Osogbo

Osun-Osogbo international festival 2020

As they say, a picture tells a story better than a thousand words.

On this particular day, 14/08, i chased stories as always to get the best of events for our online readers. I visited the international festival of Osun-Osogbo and had an emotional displeasure with the way participants disregarded COVID-19 protocols amidst the rising cases of virus in the state, meanwhile, Osun state had the second highest records of COVID-19 in the country this week.

At the grand finale of the annual Osun-Osogbo festival ended on Friday with the breach of PTF COVID-19 protocols by the participants at this year international festival in Osogbo, capital of Osun state, VOICE AIR MEDIA reports.

Recalled VOICE AIR MEDIA reported that the state government through the commissioner for culture and tourism, Dr Adebisi Obawale had on Tuesday announced a ban on social activities and gatherings at the Osun-Osogbo festival and restricted visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage site to worshippers only.

The state government, however, approved the observance of traditional rites and routines associated with the festival (in strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines) and that only authorised persons and worshippers were allowed into the Grove.

Our correspondent who visited the venue of the festival, said at the entrance showed the participants disregarding precautionary measures for COVID-19 prevention.

Observers noted that participants failed to obey the order by the state government of Osun and not adhered to COVID-19 protocols such as the wear(ing) of facemasks and the observance of social distancing.

Recall the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Thursday, 18th June, 2020 at the 44th joint national briefing of the committee in Abuja, decried the continuous flouting of guidelines by some members of the public in spite of the rising cases of Coronavirus infection in the country.

However, at the Grove on Friday, the Governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, represented by the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Obawale Adebisi, pleaded with the worshippers and Osogbo monarch, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, to bear with the state, assuring that next year’s celebration would bring more tourists.

More photos below....


The commissioner in his statement,
“I appreciated the monarch and the worshipers of Osun-Osogbo for their cooperation with the state government.

“The purpose of the restriction is not punitive but to ensure the safety of the entire state

“People should know how fast COVID-19 is spreading, particularly in our state and one of the protocols minimum number of people gathering together and this festival is an international festival.

“People who are coming for the festival, no one knows what they may be bringing in.

“Osun Osogbo is strategic to the state because it is an international festival and our plan was that people from outside should join the festival, but because of the COVID-19, we could not do that.

“We plead with the King to bear with the state and we assure him that by next year we will bring many people as many as possible to celebrate with him.

“We wish the Oba well and also the people of Osun. We wish them a happy celebration,” the governor said

The Ataoja of Osogbo land, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, Larooye II, host of the Osun-Osogbo festival, thanked the state government for its usual support for the festival.

The royal father stated that worshippers of the Osun deity equally understood why the social gathering was restricted for the festival.

Oba Olanipekun, however, prayed for the pandemic to be over soonest, just as he equally prayed for peace and unity in the state and country at large, with the security of lives and property.

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