The Igue Festival, an annual homage paying festival to the Benin monarch which is celebrated by the Benin people every December to mark the end of the year and usher in the New Year was cancelled.
The cancellation of this year’s Igue Festival thanksgiving set to hold at the Holy Arousa Cathedral was announced by the Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Ukakpolokpolo, Oba Ewure II. The thanksgiving service was meant to be the grand finale of the Igue festival and its cancellation was due to the resurgence of the global pandemic, the COVID-19 in the country with a daily spike of an average 600 new infections daily in the past two weeks across the country.
A statement endorsed by the Secretary, Benin Traditional Council BTC, Frank Irabor on Saturday, stated that: “ The Benin Traditional Council wishes to inform the general public that the worship at Holy Arousa Church by His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo , Uku Akpolokpolo. Ewuare II Oba of Benin on Sunday 27th December, 2020, has been cancelled due to the second wave of Covid-19”.
A day after the Benin Traditional Council issued a statement inviting the general public to worship in the church with Oba Ewuare II, a state wide broadcast was made alerting the residents of Edo state on the looming dangers as the pandemic entered its second wave. The governor thereafter urged people not to lose their guard and made the wearing of face masks compulsory and also postponed the resumption of all schools to January 18, 2021, as against the earlier date of January 4, 2021.