By Adekola Afolabi
Commercial activities were on Monday paralyzed following the closure of all markets and shops within Akure and its environs.
The closure was on the order the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, to enable him celebrate this year’s Aheregbe Festival.
It would be recalled that the Palace of the Deji of Akure had earlier announced that all markets and shops in Akure, the Ondo state capital and its environs should remain closed down, to enable them observe the annual Aheregbe Festival.
According to a statement signed by the Deji’s Chief Press Secretary, Adeyeye Michael, the closure became necessary as part of the age long tradition in Akure.
The statement warned the residents against any form of trading or opening of shops under any guise during the period.
A visit to markets in Akure on Monday showed that there was total compliance with the directive as all markets and shops including the popular Oja Oba, the Deji’s market, the Erekesan market, NEPA Market, Oja Oshodi, Isinkan Market and all others were closed down to business activities.
Speaking on the annual festival, Chief Fagite Raphael Taiwo, the Sele of Akure who spoke on behalf of the Deji of Akure land, described Aheregbe as one of the important festivals being celebrated in Akure and Oba-Ile during which all commercial activities are expected to close down.
“There will be no buying and selling in the two communities on the day of the festival. You can see now that all the markets in Akure and Oba-Ile are shut down and commercial activities are at lowest ebb.
“People should not disobey the order and open markets because of the adverse effects which may not come immediately. The negative effects may come at a later date, so when we say something is a taboo let us not go against it”, Chief Taiwo said.
He advised all Yorubas not to neglect their rich cultures and traditions in the name of civilization
” As Yorubas, we have culture, we have tradition and we must celebrate our tradition and culture. We must not allow our tradition to go into extinction”, he emphasised.
Some traditional rites were also performed by the Deji in his palace as part of the festival