From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
The Nigeria Police Division in Itori, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State was turned into a boxing arena on Tuesday when two traditional rulers engaged each other in fisticuffs over disagreement on a cultural festival.
The two traditional rulers involved in what many have described as desecration of the Yoruba culture and tradition were Olu of Itori, Oba Akorede Akamo and Baale Lapeleke, Chief Adisa Akinremi. Daily Sun reliably gathered that Akinremi had gone to the police station to lodge complaints against Oba Akamo and the police invited the latter to defend himself. Akinremi was said to have complained about the alleged disruption of a cultural ceremony being staged by natives of a neighbouring village the night previous.
Daily Sun learnt that it was while Akamo was trying to defend himself that he got angry and allegedly slapped Akinremi, who retaliated as well as went ahead to beat the attacker up to the extent that he (Akamo) scampered for safety. The Owu people in Lapeleke camp township, a suburb town of Itori in the local government area were at the height of celebrating the annual Owu Cultural and Heritage Renaissance Festival.
The Owu festival had earlier been flagged off at the palace of the Olowu of Owu in Abeokuta on Monday. Akamo was alleged to have led a group of people believed to be thugs, armed with guns and cutlasses and shot sporadically leading to the disruption of the ceremony. Several people were injured in the melee and property yet to be estimated were destroyed. While the injured had been taken to a hospital in Abeokuta for treatment, Daily Sun also learnt that a number of arrests had been made and the suspects were being questioned at the Itori Police Station.
The two traditional rulers were also said to have made statements to the police, while the matter had been transferred to the state police headquarters for further investigations. Although the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, could not be reached for comments, a senior police officer in the command who spoke with Daily Sun on condition of anonymity confirmed the incident.
“The matter has been transferred here and the two traditional rulers have made useful statements to the police. The issue of gun totting by anyone, whether the person had licence to use it or not, is a serious allegation which we are also investigating.”