In honor of the Aheregbe festival, markets and stores in Akure, the capital of Ondo state, stayed closed as ordered by Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, Deji of Akureland. This was against the countermandate from the state government, which mandated that stores and marketplaces have to open for business.
With the exception of the Isinkan community, which maintained that it was independent of Deji of Akureland and did not celebrate the Aheregbe festival in the Isinkan kingdom, all markets and stores were closed throughout the state capital.
Oba Aladelusi had declared that “part of the requirement in observing the age-long tradition of the annual Aheregbe festival was the closure of the markets.”
It is crucial to stress that throughout the event, there will be no trading or store openings of any kind. We respectfully request that locals, market vendors, and store owners abide with this instruction. Only pharmacies and patent medicine stores, however, are excused from having to close during the festival. The festival won’t impose any restrictions on the circulation of people or cars.
However, the state government quickly responded, stating through Mrs. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the Commissioner of Information and Orientation, that the state had decided against such market closures in any region of the state last year. In a statement, Ademola-Olateju stated: “On August 24, 2022, the executive council reached the resolution that no market shutdown in any region of the state would occur without the governor’s assent. The statement attributed to His Majesty’s Press Secretary, Mr. Michael Adeyeye, the Deji of Akure, clearly violates an existing government directive.
The public should be aware that, even in the event that permission was requested, the closure would have only applied to Akure’s Ìjà ̌ba (Oba’s Market). We implore His Majesty the Deji of Akure, our esteemed Royal father, to honor the government’s decision and abstain from taking any action that might upset or financially harm the people of Akure.