Ondo imposes curfew on Ikare-Akoko over communal clashes

Ondo state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

No fewer than two people were feared dead in a communal clash in Ikare-Akoko area of the state, forcing the government to clamp a 24-hour curfew on the ancient town.

The latest feud was reportedly caused by the supremacy battle between Olukare and Owa Ale which resurfaced Saturday during the Ikare Day celebration.

Reports said the closure of all markets in the town during the annual Ikare Day celebration angered a section of the people who felt insulted by the order.

It was gathered that the people of Iyometa repelled the move by some people who tried to enforce the order of closure of markets at the Osele market in Okoja area of the town.

The people reportedly said Osele is not under the jurisdiction of the Olukare and so the order cannot be extended to the market.
However, sources from the Olukare side said the people from Iyometa had challenged the authority of the Olukare over the closure of markets on Ikare Day celebration.

In what appeared to be a retaliatory move, the Iyometa people, allegedly prevented the Shasa market from being opened on Monday, an action which the Iyometa community has denied. This reportedly drew the anger of the people.

The crisis escalated at the early hours of Tuesday with sporadic gunshots heard at the centre of town during which a man identified as Taju Mati was reportedly gunned down while some were also wounded.

Police sources had it that there was a casualty who has been taken to mortuary.
The Police Area commander for Ikare-Akoko, ACP Muri Agboola, called for calm and understanding in order to ensure peace reigns in the ancient city, adding that anarchy, misunderstanding and unrest will not bring development.

Efforts to speak with the Chief Medical Director of the state Specialist Hospital, Ikare-Akoko, Dr Ayodele Ogunlade, to confirm the casualty figure was not successful as the time of filling this report.

Motorists plying these roads are to note the situation in the area.

However, calm has returned to the town as armed policemen were seen patrolling major quarters of the town. Security agencies, especially the Police and Amotekun have already been directed to ensure full compliance and enforcement of the curfew imposed as traditional rulers, opinion and religious leaders are enjoined to give maximum support to this order just as they are to rein in their subjects and wards.

Meanwhile, the curfew imposed on Igbara-Oke town since last week by the state government over a by-election issue has been revoked at the State Security Council meeting held Monday.