The Ondo State Government has reversed the order of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, to close the market over traditional festival celebrations.
The monarch, through his media aide, on Thursday, ordered the closure of markets to observe the annual Aheregbe Festival coming up on Friday, but the government frowned at the order, saying the monarch had infringed on the fundamental human rights of the residents of the community.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said in a statement issued later on Thursday that the decision of the government was reached at the state Executive Council meeting.
The statement read, “On August 24, 2022, one of the decisions made by the Executive Council was that there shall be no closure of markets in any part of the state without the approval of the acting 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 approval was sought, such closure would have been limited to Oja-Oba (Oba’s Market) in Akure.
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“We urge our respected royal father, His Majesty, the Deji of Akure, to respect the government’s decision and refrain from any action that can inconvenience or inflict economic pain on Akure inhabitants. We also ask that the cordial relationship between the revered stool of the Deji not be drawn into an open confrontation with the government.”
The statement urged the Akure residents to go about their normal business 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 the Aheregbe Festival. Whoever flies in the face of this directive will draw the ire of the government. The government of Ondo State asks that everyone be law-abiding and move about freely in the pursuit of happiness,” the statement submitted.
The PUNCH reported that the monarch in a statement issued by his Press Secretary, Mr Michael Adeyeye, on Thursday, ordered the closure of the market in the community to observe the annual Aheregbe Festival coming up on Friday.
However, the statement exempted pharmacy shops and patent medicine stores from the closure of their shops during the festival.
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