Two persons have reportedly been shot dead in Ire Ekiti, in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti over the crisis that dogged the halt of Ogun Onire festival by the State government due to COVID-19.
A vehicle belonging to the town’s monarch, Oba Victor Bobade was said to have been set ablaze by some irate youths, who were desirous to have the festival celebrated on Sunday.
Governor Kayode Fayemi had in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus in Ekiti stopped the celebration of traditional festivals across the state.
In an attempt to enforce the COVID-19 precautionary directive by the state government, the Onire of Ore Ekiti, Oba Victor Bobade was said to have told the Ogun adherents to shelve this year’s celebration, which allegedly pitted him against the worshippers.
The crisis, which had polarised the town into two factions, started on Sunday and snowballed into a full-scale war on Monday, causing attacks between rival factions, which prompted the Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Mobayo to swiftly draft policemen to the beleaguered town.
It was gathered that the victims were allegedly hit by stray bullets fired while making attempts to quell the raging crisis that paralysed business activities for a whole day.
A source said the town is currently boiling as relatives of victims have continued to protest the killing of their loved ones.
“We have been having a serious battle in the town since our monarch urged the Ogun Onire worshippers to stop. And the crisis between the factions loyal to the Oba and the worshippers led to the death of the victims”.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday Abutu, confirmed that two persons were killed during the bloody crisis contrary to three being bandied.
“Yes, there has been a crisis there since Sunday. We have been trying to quell it. Some group of youths came to the palace and attacked the palace, destroyed things and burned some vehicles that belonged to the king. We got a distress call and had to mobilize policemen there and we were able to rescue the chiefs from the palace. We are still monitoring the situation.
“The people were protesting and probably disagreement from factions that were there led to the death of those persons. But investigations are on. Those who were involved in the act will be arrested and brought to book.
“On my desk here, I have two persons. Their bodies have been deposited in the morgue. We have been able to arrest one of the gang leaders and he is in our custody right now”.