Home Crime Winners and Losers of Aheregbe Festival in Akure

Winners and Losers of Aheregbe Festival in Akure

by Roving

The popular Aheregbe Festival in akure, the Ondo state capital, has been held for this year and the next one will hold next year, 2024.

The festival which had been in existence for many centuries always witnesses the shutdown of commercial activities in Akure metropolis following the closure of all markets and shops within Akure and its environs.

The closure is always on the order of the Dejis of Akure to allow them observe and celebrate the annual Aheregbe Festival also known as Dududu. In this case, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo is the current Deji of Akure.

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.

However recent developments have put question marks on how wide the tentacles of Aheregbe festival can spread.

So, who were the winners and losers in this year’s Aheregbe Festival ? ROVING REPORTERS takes a look.

LOSER : Ondo state government

It would be recalled that the Palace of the Deji of Akure had on Thursday 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.

However, the state government immediately overruled the order from the Deji’s Palace, saying that the monarch has no power to order closure of markets without following due process.

A statement by, Bamidele AdemolaOlateju Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation says, “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 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 the right of Akure residents to the pursuance of their livelihood.

“The public should note that even if an approval was sought, such closure would have been limited to Ọjà Ọba (Oba’s Market) in Akure.

“We urge our respected Royal father, His Majesty, the Deji of Akure to respect the government decision and refrain from any action that can inconvenience, and, or inflict economic pain to Akure inhabitants. We also ask that the cordial relationship between the revered stool of the Deji not be drawn into open confrontation with the government.

“Akure residents are urged 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 Aheregbe festival. Whoever flies in the face of this directive will draw the ire of the government.

“The government of Ondo State ask that; everyone should be law abiding and move about freely in the pursuit of happiness.”

However, the order from the Deji of Akure seemed to have gained more weight than that of the ondo state government and shunned the state government’s order.

A visit to erekesan market on Aheregbe day yesterday also showed that the residents shunned the government’s order and complied totally with the Deji’s directive as all shops and stalls in the markets were locked while traders did not show up.

The cash-hold market behind the new Deji’s palace was also under lock while Adedeji market along Arakale road did not open for any business transaction.

There was however a partial opening of the NEPA neighbourhood market.

Similarly, shops along Arakale, Adesida, hospital, Alagbaka, Ondo and Oyemekun roads were shut in compliance with the Deji’s directive.

The popular Arakale motor park was turned to a football pitch due to the market closure.


Findings revealed that many residents and natives of Akure still believe in the celebration of Aheregbe Festival and would do everything possible to ensure that the festival doesn not go into extinction. That was why they strictly followed the order of Deji of Akure. Some of the traders who spoke with Roving Reporters kicked against any attempt by the government to disrespect the tradition and wipe out a festival that has been in existence for ages.

However, some traders did not open shops for the fear of being attacked by hoodlums. Some of them who still stayed around their shops, said they would not open shops despite the state government’s order.

According to them, some thugs could still be adamant to attack them and loot their goods, a situation whereby government would not come to help them eventually.


Despite the Deji’s order to close shops and markets in Akure, It was however, a beehive of activities at Isinkan and isolo markets as buying and selling were going on in full swing.

As soon as the order of market closure came from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, the Osolo of Isolo, Oba Edward Adewole, in Akure South Local Government, had petitioned the state government, on the need to avert crisis over the Deji’s order.

The Osolo said that Oba Aladelusi was planning to cause crisis in Isolo town with his planned extension of Aheregbe festival and market closure order to the town.

He said, “For the preclusion of crisis this will cause, the Kabiyesi, Oba Edward Adewole, has filed a petition to the Executive Governor of Ondo State, who is the only consenting authority on all chieftaincy matters by law in the state, to be in notice and take action before the Deji of Akure disrupts the now enduring communal peace that government has achieved across the state communities.”

It would be recalled that similar crisis which would have erupted was averted by the state government and security agencies between the people of Isikan community and Akure last year as controversy surrounded the festival on whether Isikan market should be closed or not.

Unlike recent years, the Isikan markets and Isolo markers were open and business activities went on smoothly.

Roving Reporters reliably gathered that that has always been the situation in past years as Isikan and Isolo markets has never been included in the celebration of Aheregbe Festival and closure of markets before it was recently twisted, a development that is now being corrected by setting the record straight.

Meanwhile, some traders have called for a synergy between the Deji’s palace and the ondo state government on the issue of market closure for the annual festival.

The traders suggested that both parties should always reach a compromise before date and procedure are announced for the aheregbe festival to avoid any confusion.

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