An attempt by the Onire of Ire-Ekiti in Ekiti, Oba Victor Bobade, to enforce a government ban on traditional festivals due to the rampaging COVID-19 has led to violence in the community, resulting in the killing of three people.
The state government had banned the celebration of traditional festivals across the state and directed traditional rulers to ensure strict compliance.
The violence over the celebration of Ogun Onire festival, which had divided residents of the community into two factions, started on Sunday and continued on Monday during which the two persons were killed.
Sources said that the victims were hit by stray bullets while making attempts to quell the raging crisis that paralysed business activities for most part of Monday.
A vehicle belonging to the town’s monarch was also said to have been set ablaze by some irate youths who were not happy with stoppage of the festival.
The crisis began when the monarch, in an attempt to enforce the order, was said to have told the Ogun adherents to shelve this year’s celebration, a directive which was reportedly rejected.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed the violence, adding that two persons were killed.
” There has been crisis there since Sunday. We have been trying to quell it.
” Some groups of youths came to the palace and attacked the palace, destroyed things and burnt some vehicles that belonged to the king.
“We got a distress call and had to mobilise 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.
“I can confirm that from my desk here, I have two dead and 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,” he said.