Pandemonium broke out in Idi-Iroko, a border community in Ipokia Local Government area of Ogun State on Saturday when some traditional worshipper allegedly went on rampage attacking residents of the area.
Trouble started when the traditional worshippers believed to be adherents of Oro, a popular Yoruba traditional religion on Saturday imposed a curfew on the residents of the area in order to carry out their usual rituals.
Some residents, especially Muslims who had defied the curfew and went on to observe their daily prayers were allegedly attacked and beaten by the traditional worshippers.
In the recent time, there have been frequent clashes between the Oro adherents and some residents of the community.
The traditional worshippers usually carry out their rituals during day, a development many residents of the area do not approve of.
It was gathered that during the rampage, the Oro adherents allegedly destroyed some properties belonging to some residents who defied the curfew order.
It would be recalled that the state High court sitting in Ipokia had given a judgement that the Oro adherents must desist from holding their festival in day-break in any part of the area
The Ogun State Police Command Spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi who confirmed the incident, disclosed that nine of the traditional worshippers had been arrested by the Police.
Oyeyemi gave the names of the suspects as: idowu Desu, Monday Akinlolu, Dele Dada, Raimi Jacob, Dondo Sunday, Abiola Azeez, Olarewaju Akerele, Nurudeen Lawal and Tetede Jamiu.
According to him, the suspects will be charged to court for breach of peace and other criminal acts as soon as possible.
One of the victims, Tolahat Yahya while narrating his ordeal in the hands of his attackers, alleged that the Oro adherents destroyed his car during the rampage.
He explained, “We were coming back from a programme held at our mosque when the Oro adherents attacked us. They beat us for not obeying the curfew order.”
“But we stood our ground and we ensure we grabbed three of them who we later handed over to the police.”
“The intimidation is too much, they refused to allow us practise our religion despite the agreement that the Oro ritual will not be performed at day-break, they did not obey that.”
A peace meeting held last Thursday between representatives of the Muslim community and the Oro adherents had reportedly ended in a deadlock.
The Muslims were led by the Wakeel Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta while the Oro adherents were represented by the Oniko of Ikolaje, Idiroko, John Olakunle at the meeting.
The Monarch of the town was alleged to have refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding proposed by the Muslim community in the area.
The Monarch was reported to have insisted that the community had been performing day-break rituals for long and would not stop.
Olakunle said the Muslim community must be ready to either accept the traditions or leave the community.
He said, “I am the king here and I have the authority over all my subjects which cannot be queried by anyone.
“Traditional worshippers are not criminals and any action you see them taken is a counter reaction to an action”.
But, in his reaction, the leader of the Muslim community advised the monarch to ensure the community obeys the judgment of the court that warned against observing Oro ritual during the day.
He also warned the Monarch to ensure that imposition of curfew during day and attacks on Muslim must stop so as to avoid conflict of religion.