- “This is the death of an ancestor”
In Ogbunike town, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, an unnamed young man has been burned to death while attempting a stunt in a masquerade costume.
Sources confirmed that the incident occurred on Saturday during the Eli’m Ede’ Cultural Festival, an annual event in which locals are entertained by masquerades of all sizes and forms at the town square.
An eyewitness said that while taking the masquerade to Amawa public square, the masquerade attendants performed a fire stunt in front of the masquerade, which was seated on the ground, but quickly extinguished it.
“Unknown to the attendants, the fire had entered the raffia costume worn by the masquerade, and before they could put it off, it spread all over the body of the masquerade, causing the man serious burns,” he said.
The source noted that the man in the ancestral masquerade, who sustained serious burns, was rushed to the hospital but he died on Sunday evening.
According to a source, “this is a tragic abomination. This is the death of an ancestor. Masquerades are supposed to be ancestral spirits. And for one to die shows that something has gone wrong. It has never been heard of in Ogbunike that an ancestor died. This calls for some sacrifices to ward off the evil spirit that caused this tragedy.”