Egungun Festival Fracas: Police summon 4 Kwara monarchs
The Kwara State Police command has summoned four monarchs for investigation in relation to the fracas that reportedly broke out penultimate week over disagreement in the celebration of a masquerade (Egungun) festival, National Pilot has gathered.
The issue which led to sporadic shooting and destruction of property reportedly caused great tension in the affected Oke-Ero communities in Kwara South.
A victim of the incident who was reportedly shot in the leg "at close range" and the Officer-in-Charge of the masquerade, (Eeshorun), Clement Ayantoye Aro is presently recuperating at New Era hospital, Osi, it was further learnt.
The monarchs summoned included the Olota of Odo-Owa, Oba Joshua Adeyemi Adimula. Osolo of Igbede, Oba Johnson Jide Aina, Edemarun of Kajola, Oba Joseph Adeleke Oyewole and Obadofin of Ikotun, Oba David Ajibola Omape.
The affected traditional rulers appeared before the State Investigation Bureau (SIB) on Tuesday where they were grilled over the incident based on a petition from the Olota of Odo-Owa, Oba Joshua Adeyemi Adimula, who sent in a representative.
They where however told to report back to the police on next Thursday after Easter celebration for further investigation on the matter.
A source at the meeting told National Pilot that the Olota identified himself in the petition as the "defacto traditional ruler in the affected communities and accused the other monarchs of conspiring against him to celebrate the festival separately.
"But the other monarchs in their arguments reportedly told the police that the claim of a paramount ruler by the Olota was a fluke and accident of history" which does not foreclose other traditional rulers from exercising their franchise.
They added that each community has its own traditional council, religion, idiosyncrasies and the paraphernalia of other offices belonging to a monarch," the source added.
Efforts to resolve the crisis, it was gathered, had failed in the past.
An interim report carried out in March 2017 cited by this medium under the aegis of "concerned indigenes" to resolve the crisis concluded that "it is regrettable to note that many forces stormed the process of reconciliation mid-way which led to sudden withdrawal of some members who subsequently bowed to pressure".
Recall that this medium in its last edition reported that two of the affected monarchs traded words over the issue.
The Osolo of Igbede, Oba Johnson Jide Aina told National Pilot that "the Egungun (masquerade) festival used to be celebrated by the conglomerate communities but was separated this year because of the excesses and high handedness from Owa community.
"This was brought to the attention of the government and a committee was set up. Three of the other four communities agreed to celebrate together and went to the Area Commander in Omu-Aran to sign MoU to that effect."
But the Oloota, Oba Joshua Adeyemi Adimula maintained that there was only one community in Odo-Owa adding that "I have a single community here and not multiple communities and any other community has to leave this place and go to its ancestral home. There is no any clash whatsoever," he had said.