Four feared killed in Ondo community over chieftaincy tussle

Four feared killed in Ondo community over chieftaincy tussle

Four people have lost their lives in Ondo State following a chieftaincy tussle in Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko North East Local Government Area of the state.

The four persons whose identity were yet to be ascertained were said to have been killed in different quarters of the community during the crisis which occurred at Okoja quarters axis of the ancient town.

The crisis which saw residents scampering for safety also led to the burning of some houses within the community as well as the destruction of cars

Residents say guns and other dangerous weapons were freely used in ensuing fights.

According to findings, the crisis erupted in the ancient town following the alleged insistence of a deposed Chief of Okoja quarters, Chief Idowu Ogunye to continue to act as the Olokoja of Okoja.

The Olukare of Ikare, Oba Akadiri Saliu Momoh had on January 20, 2021, relieved Chief Ogunye as the traditional head of Okoja over absenteeism from traditional meetings, disloyalty and refusal to obey the directives of the monarch.

Following the dethronement of the erstwhile Olokoja, Chief Sunday Bada was installed as the new head of Okoja quarters, a development which was said to have infuriated Chief Ogunye.

Some suspected thugs alleged to be loyal to Chief Ogunye were said to have invaded a meeting of the quarter which Chief Bada was presiding over as the new Olokoja.

The meeting which was disrupted by the suspected thugs led to the death of four persons from Okorun and Okeruwa quarters of the community following the move to repel the attack by youths loyal to Chief Bada.

When contacted, Chief Bada alleged that the deposed Chief Ogunye was behind the attack, stressing that he had since been dethroned as the Olokoja

Chief Bada said “As custodian of our tradition and native law in Okoja, we were holding our every nine days community’s meeting yesterday (Monday) when some hoodlums came to disrupt the peaceful meeting, which led to a fracas.

“It will be recalled that he had taken me to the office of the State Director of DSS and office the State Commissioner of Police based on petitions he wrote to the offices, and it was clearly stated to him on both occasions that he can no longer be the chief over the community because he has been dethroned by the constituted authority and that if he’s not pleased he was advised to approach a court of law.

“Okoja is not Okorun and it is pure lies and unfair on his part to link this issue with Olukare and OwaAle Obaship tussle.”

On his part, Chief Ogunye who spoke through his lawyer, Femi Emodamori, insisted that he remained the Olokoja of Okoja and described his suspension and purported expulsion as illegal and strange to the tradition of Ikare Akoko.

Meanwhile, the fracas has shifted from the Olokoja village to the entire Ikare between forces loyal to the Owa Ale and Olukare.

Olukare is listed as a First Class monarch while the Owa Ale is listed as Class C monarch in the state government directory

When contacted, Ondo Police spokesman, Tee-Leo Ikoro stated that heavy security personnel had been deployed to strategic locations in the town.