Clash of two cultural festivals stirred violence in Ekiti

Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti

The celebration of two traditional festivals in Ikere-Ekiti resulted in violence, on Friday night, as one person was shot during the celebration of Odun Oba and Olosunta festivals.

The Odun Oba festival celebrated by the Ogoga, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado, reached its peak, on Saturday, with the paying of homage and celebration of the New Yam.

The same Saturday marked the commencement of the week-long Olosunta festival celebrated by Olukere, Oba Ganiyu Ayodele Obasoyin.

Soldiers, riot policemen and men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) mounted guards in Odo Oja area, which was the battle ground to prevent a repeat of violence in the town.

Olukere and Ogoga hads been trading accusations on who caused the violence which started on Friday night and continued till early hours of Saturday.

Ogoga alleged that Olukere’s thugs attacked the Oloris (palace queens), on Friday, and wounded some of them during a traditional dance to some locations in the town.

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On his part, the Olukere alleged that security men working for Ogoga invaded his (Olukere’s) palace at about 1.00 a.m., on Saturday, shooting sporadically.

Obasoyin also alleged that the billboard mounted in Odo Oja area to announce the Olosunta festival was destroyed by Ogoga’s supporters.

Olukere said, “Ogoga’s security men shot one of my boys, Oladimeji Aluko. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

“I am indoors because the Olosunta Festival commenced today (Saturday). Information reached me that they invaded my palace and were firing gunshots.

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“When they could not find me, they went to my private residence in Ado where they were resisted but they also shot somebody there.

“We found eight to ten pellets on the ground from their gunshots and we have informed the Commissioner of Police.”

“I don’t have any problem with Ogoga. All I am demanding from the state government is my staff of office because I am the king in this community. They should give me my right.”

But Oba Alagbado fired back: “There is a thug who called himself Olukere, Ganiyu Obasoyin. He is an impostor because he was not approved by the prescribed authority, the Ogoga.

“Yesterday (Friday), all the oloris danced from the palace to the Post Office area, the land belongs to the Aladeselu family.

“Obasoyin and his thugs attacked the women there shooting guns on the day ‘Opekele Ayaba.’ His thugs seized their two cameras, destroyed their drums and some old women fainted, the local trumpeter was attacked.

“Ikere has only one Oba, the Ogoga, Odo Oja is headed by Ologotun.

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Obasoyin has been constituting himself as a nuisance in this town.

“He is on bail on a murder charge and there is a law in Ekiti State that anybody that calls himself an Oba without the authority of the government is three years imprisonment without any option of fine.

“I want peace in Ikere, my kingdom because how can we be celebrating our festival with so many police and security men around when we are not in a state of war.

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“Nobody can be a chief in this town without my approval. Who owns this town? Can you divide my town for me? We are waiting for the current Police regime to do their job.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Caleb Ikechukwu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, could not be reached for comments at press time as his phone was switched off.

He did not also respond to a text message sent to him as at time of filing this report.




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