Anambra Government Reacts as Masquerades Disrupt Awka, Harasss Residents

In recent days, Awka, the capital of Anambra State, has experienced an unusual surge in masquerade activity, disrupting daily life and unsettling the local folks.

As reported by Izunna Okafor, who personally visited several affected areas, numerous masquerades of varying sizes have been roaming streets like Zik’s Avenue and areas around Eke Awka Market, wielding canes and causing disturbances.

While these masquerades are part of the festivities marking the 2024 Imo Awka festival—a significant cultural event honoring the local deity Imo Awka—they have unfortunately crossed the line from cultural celebration to public nuisance. Notably, some of these masqueraders and their cohorts have resorted to aggressive tactics, including demanding money from pedestrians and motorists and harassing those who refuse to comply.

The presence of these masquerades has led to significant traffic disruptions and a pervasive sense of fear among residents, impacting their daily commutes and business activities. Even individuals without masquerades have been reported to engage in similar intimidating behaviors.

In response to these alarming developments, Mr. Don Onyenji, Anambra State Commissioner for Culture, Entertainment, and Tourism, has issued a stern warning against such unlawful activities. Stressing the importance of cultural celebrations as a showcase of Igbo heritage, he emphasized that they should not serve as a cover for harassment or intimidation.

The state government, under Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s leadership, is committed to maintaining order and ensuring that cultural festivities do not infringe on the rights and freedoms of the citizenry. Commissioner Onyenji highlighted that any masquerade or individual caught violating public peace and law will face strict legal consequences.

Further, local community leaders and stakeholders are urged to take an active role in overseeing masquerade activities to prevent abuses. The government plans to implement monitoring mechanisms to ensure that celebrations reflect the cultural values and dignity traditionally associated with Igbo masquerades.


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