In defiance of the state government’s order, residents of Akure, the capital of Ondo State, have kept their businesses closed in honor of the Aheregbe celebration.
The marketplaces were closed in honor of the occasion per the decree of Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo, Deji of Akure.
The Paramount Ruler, the Deji, and his chiefs are the ones who traditionally attend the Aheregbe festival. Prayers for the safety and development of the nation are offered during the celebration.
In order to prepare for this year’s Aheregbe festival, the monarch ordered all marketplaces in the historic town to be shut down via his Chief Press Secretary, Micheal Adeyeye.
Commissioner for Information Mrs. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju issued a statement on behalf of the state government in response to the order.
The administration urged that all businesses reopen after claiming that it had not authorized the temporary shutdown of marketplaces and shops.
The people of Akure disobeyed government orders and kept their businesses closed rather than disobey the Deji.
In Akure, tensions ran high as residents tried to make sense of competing orders from the Deji and the state government.
On Aheregbe Day, a trip to Erekesan Market revealed that locals had ignored government orders and instead followed the Deji’s instructions. The market’s stores and stalls were closed, and their usual vendors were nowhere to be found.
Adedeji Market on Arakale Road was closed, as was the cash-hold market located behind the new Deji’s palace.
The NEPA Neighborhood Market, however, did partially open.
In accordance with the monarch’s order, businesses along the routes of Arakale, Adesida, Hospital, Alagbaka, Ondo, and Oyemekun were shut down.
As a result of the market’s closing, the well-liked Arakale Motor Park was converted into a football field.
On the other side, business as usual prevailed in the markets of Isinkan and Isolo.
Security forces, led by the Amotekun Corps, were on high alert to prevent the kind of looting and hooliganism that had marred previous Aheregbe celebrations.