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Zangbeto: Thrills of Badagry’s Biggest Masquerade Festival

It was an epochal event for the entire community of Ajido and other adjoining communities under Badagry on December 30 2019 as they celebrated Zangbeto Masquerade, considered to be the biggest masquerade festival in the world.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was commended by the people for resuscitating the institution Zangbeto and the masquerade festival because of its economic empowerment and other benefits attached to it.

The Chairman, Central Planning Committee of 2019 Ajido Zangbeto Festival, Mr. Sehude Adeyinka Amosu, said that: “We thanked the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in bringing back the lofty useful institution of Zangbeto for its economic empowerment.

“Social-cultural upliftment, crime control and more importantly, re-enacting social being as a people with a unique identity and focused destination.

“It is imperative to borrow from the foundation of glorious past of their ancestors as a bridge to solidify the future for coming generation in view of the current youth restiveness, drug and substance abuse, lawlessness and other challenges.”

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While eulogising their forefathers, Amosu said their forefathers have successfully used some formidable institutions, including Zangbeto, to stabilise the society and ensure peaceful living devoid of rancour.

“Zangbeto institution in Ogu land is one of such instruments of administration that worked well in the olden days hence crime was well controlled and peace, love and affection were fostered.

“I grew up to know that in the olden days, the fear of Zangbeto was the beginning of wisdom and progression, we lost all that from the point we allowed the Zangbeto being erroneously associated with fetish practice hence many that embraced foreign religion started disassociating themselves from the Zangbeto plays.”

He said civilised society never jettisoned wholesale all the foundations laid by their own ancestors; hence till date some fine aspects of medieval practices and traditions of the English culture are still sustained and in use.

“Why then were we so rail-road into abandoning all our own which they termed ‘primitive African culture’ but over there in their own land they’ve defined in fine literature as ‘classical.

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“A good example of this that readily comes to mind is the way the traditional brewing industry by our forefathers was bastardised and even criminalised.

Some of the key points of the festival included the procession of Zangbeto from all the quarters of Ajido, royal homage by Zangan Yonnusis, the introduction of various Zangbeto and their functions, command performance by Athogbo and Gota cultural troupes from Ajido Sea Beach, Zangbeto rendition/Hugotho message, Zangbeto display and magical exhibition.

The festival was attended by some of the royal fathers within Badagry, with His Royal Majesty De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi I, the Akran of Badagry kingdom, leading the roll call, which included: Oba Saheed Sedonu Adamson, Aholu of Ajido Kingdom (the host majesty), Oyekan Adekanmi Ilufemiloye Ajose, Posi III, Alapa of Egun-Awori Kingdom, Aholu of Ajara Agamathen, Agano Toniyon I, and white cap chiefs, as well as bales and the Chairman of Badagry Local Government Council, Olusegun Onilude and other stakeholders.

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Also were some tourists from Thailand.

Credits: New Telegraph

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Goodluck Jonathan Reacts to Newspaper Columnist – Dele Sobowale’s Apologies

Dele Sobowale in an article titled, ”Comparing Buhari With Jonathan: Iroko Versus Rotten Wood – 1”, dragged the former President who at the time was still in office.

He attacked Jonathan and also attacked his fellow columnists who wrote articles defending Jonathan’s administration.

Fast forward to March 22nd 2020, Sobowale in an article titled ”Governor Ganduje has murdered sleep!”, said one of the things he regrets was his attack on Jonathan .

Part of his article reads:

One of the most foolhardy exploits I ever engaged in during my more than thirty years of writing columns for VANGUARD occurred in October 2014 when I got an article published titled COMPARING BUHARI WITH JONATHAN: IROKO VERSUS ROTTEN WOOD – 1.

It was so hot that only the fact that Uncle Sam does not interfere in editorial matters got part 1 published.

Despite that, the poor SUNDAY EDITOR received a serious reprimand for not editing sufficiently. I also received a mild rebuke from the Publisher for being too harsh on President Jonathan.

Let me take this opportunity to express gratitude as well as unreserved apology to former President Jonathan who demonstrated his strong belief in democratic norms.

Virtually all my friends who are regular readers of VANGUARD thought that I had over-stepped my bounds that time. They expected my arrest and detention any time.

My wife was scared to death and she advised me to run away. I did not run and to the everlasting glory of Jonathan, I was not harassed by anyone. I cannot thank him enough. He might not read this article, but, anybody close to him who reads it should convey my message.

I sincerely apologise. Time and events have opened my eyes to the worst sort of hypocrisy parading as integrity and virtue. I have, since learnt anew that indeed “Hypocrisy is the homage paid by vice to virtue.” (De La Rochefoucauld, 1615-1680, VBQ p 96). Never again will I trust a military-politician.

But, it was not only Jonathan that I was ready to wage war against on behalf of Buhari. I took on my colleagues in the media – all the big names who were against Buhari.

Below is the opening salvo to what was an all out attack against Buhari’s opponents. Never in my adult life have I been so devoted to anyone except Obong Victor Attah.

Never have I been so disappointed that I wasted a great deal of goodwill among my colleagues on Buhari – who has turned out not a lot better and indeed is a lot worse than Jonathan in many respects.

Jonathan’s reaction:

Dear @DrDeleSobowale As you expected, my attention was drawn to your apology as expressed in your Sunday @vanguardngrnews column of March 22, 2020. You specifically regretted an article you wrote in 2014 in which you called me all manner of names.

The truth Dele is that I never took such criticism from you or any other of my critics personally .

I may have felt bad as a human being, but I assumed that you were driven more by a patriotic feeling to see our nation make progress, than any personal hatred for me.

Although I believed that many of our critics at that time misjudged our plans and programmes for the country, I was fully convinced that our democracy would be better served if we allowed all Nigerians to freely hold us to account, without let or hindrance.

As I always say, I have no enemies to fight. You will continue to earn my respect.

GEJ

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The Legality of the “Lockdown” Order of President Muhammadu Buhari of 29th March 2020, as a Result of the Pandemic COVID-19, Otherwise Called Corona Virus

I have read and heard many arguments for and against the Order of Mr President declaring “Lockdown” or restrictions in movement in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

It is an established fact that Corona Virus is a world pandemic which is presently threatening the world over.

It is also an established fact, that no cure or vaccine has been found for the Virus, which now infects people at geometric progression, with devastating health effect, sometimes leading to death of the victims.

It is also a known fact, that most Countries in the world are on a shut down, with orders against movement and assembly of people, except for necessary services and products. This has brought to the fore, the Human Rights arguments of the restrictive orders.

Firstly, I must say without any form of equivocation that the President of Nigeria is eminently qualified, empowered and authorised to issue a restrictive order in whatsoever name it might be called, as long as the Order/Regulations is in line with the Powers given to him under the Quarantine Act, LFN 2004. Section 3 of the Act specifically empowers the President to declare any place as an infected area; which the President has done by declaring a lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun. It can however be argued that the number of Corona Virus cases recorded so far, does not warrant such order.

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It is my submission that Corona Virus according to Health Workers, takes 14days to be evident in the body, thus if everybody is allowed to move freely without restrictions, the rate of infection will grow out of proportion.

Furthermore, it is being argued that the Order of the President was made without recourse to the National Assembly. Again this argument lacks substance.

Section 4 of the Quarantine Act gives the President the prerogative to prescribe steps to be taken within Nigeria, to prevent the spread of any infection or disease.

In exercising this power, the President in my humble opinion does not need the approval of any person or persons before he can make such Regulations.

In furtherance of the above arguments, assuming that the President declared a State of Emergency by virtue of the provision of Section 305, subsection 3(e) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

The President is still covered by the provision of the Law , as long as he complies and follows the procedures laid down in Section 305, subsection 1 and 2.

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Nigeria is a signatory to most International Treaties and Charters on Human Rights, including but not limited to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which was ratified by Nigeria on the 29th of July 1993.

Article 4 of this Covenant specifically makes provision for derogation of rights in some instances when such derogatotion is in the interests of Public safety, Public Health, etc.

This provision is in consonance and pari-materia with Section 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as Amended.

It is therefore my humble conclusion that , the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria acted within the ambit of the Law and with the utmost interest of Nigerians at heart, by ordering for a restriction of movement (lockdown), in other to curtail the world threatening Pandemic.

It is however my passionate appeal, that the few privileged individuals in the community or society, should as a matter of humanity provide basic needs and foods for the less-privileged within their communities.

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God Bless Badagry,

God Bless Lagos State,

God Bless Nigeria.

MEDEMAKU Abayomi Noah, is a Master (LLM) Student in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the European University, Frankfurt Oder, Germany.

He was also a House of Representatives Candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), in the February 2019, General Election in Nigeria.

Email: legalluminary1@gmail.com.

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