Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Following the sudden death of a middle aged man during the just concluded Nnewi Afiolu masquerade festival, the Public Complaints Commission has called for proper identification and accreditation of masqueraders in subsequent Afiolu and other Igbo masquerade festivals to forestall incidents of bloodshed and deaths resulting from such occasions.
The call was made by prince Sam Ben Nwosu of the Public Complaints Commission in Anambra who saw the dire need for proper planning and accreditation of masqueraders in future Afiolu festivals to forestall further catasthrophies that have characterised the masquerade festival in the last two years.
Nwosu who reacted to the death of a middle aged man in the just concluded Afiolu Nnewi festival, posited that such ugly episode was unbecoming and undermined the import of the masquerade festival.
He said it was wrong for Ndi Nnewi to cry when they were supposed to be celebrating and called on Nzukora Nnewi to look into the matter to find a lasting solution to the issue. He stressed that such event should provide an atmosphere of conviviality and socialisation rather than tears of sorrow and melancholy as portrayed in the demise of the middle aged man.
Nwosu also maintained that it has become obvious that what is needed is for Nzukora to properly accredit masqueraders who must participate in the festival. He said that in the past, there used to be a method of checking the excesses of the masqueraders, through numbering and therefore called on Nzukora to revisit the situation.
He however stated that Nzukora Nnewi should not be blamed, as it is still seen as an accident, but called on them to proffer proactive measures to forestall future reoccurrence.
However the Ombudsman official commended the police for their quick response to the situation which he noted guaranteed peace and tranquility throughout the festival irrespective of the death recorded during the Afiolu Nnewi masquerade festival.
He therefore called on the police to redouble their efforts to ensure that the killers of the middle aged man were brought to book emphasising that justice delayed would amount to justice denied.