Less than three weeks to the 2020 edition of Ogori Ovia Osese Cultural Festival, the Coronavirus global pandemic has forced the National Executive Committee of Ogori Descendants’ Union, ODU, to outrightly cancel the event.
The body, arose from an emergency meeting called by the ODU, announcing the cancellation of the event which had been scheduled to hold between April 19 and 26, 2020.
In a 9-point communique, the body said, “in view of the global health challenges posed by coronavirus, Ogori Ovia Osese festival being an international tourist event that attracts tourists from around the globe…is no longer feasible and advisable.”
On the strength of this, the body said, “we resolved to cancel the celebration of the 2020 Ovia Osese Festival and its ancillary events and advise members of the community to key into the directive of the State Government on public gatherings because it is in our best interest.”
It further maintained that by the cancellation of the festival, no tradition has been contravened, adding that its decision was in the overall interest of the community and public health.
It reiterated that it was expedient for the community to align itself with the ongoing efforts at the state and national levels on how best to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
ODU assured families that had registered their wards to participate in the 2020 edition of the festival, that they would be taken care of in the 2021 edition.
While calling for sustained prayers to overcome the global pandemic, the ODU appreciated security operatives in the area for bracing up to the security challenges in the area.
“We commend the effort of security agencies which recently resulted in the arrest of some kidnap suspects and we call for more security consciousness among our people because security should be everybody’s business”, it stressed.
Meanwhile, the League of Professors in Ogori, last Saturday, launched a task team on COVID-19 and according to the chairman of the League, Professor Olugbemiro Jegede said given the rapidity of the spread of the pandemic, it could spread to every nook and crannies of Nigeria, wreaking unimaginable havoc on citizens.
The task team, he explained, is to amongst other things, develop a simple strategic plan for preparedness and response to future epidemics in the community, evolve a workable plan for strict isolation of confirmed cases, build and strategise on how to deploy and use, response capacities and capabilities to COVID-19.
On his part, the leader of the 10-member task team, Professor Alexander Odaibo, said the committee would go a long way in helping Ogori community in preventing the spread of the pandemic and assured that no stone would be left unturned to make a success of the assignment.