The Ondo State government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko Northeast Local Government Area, following clashes at an annual carnival in the community.
The state government said on Thursday that the curfew was with immediate effect.
According to a statement by Olabode Richard, the chief press secretary to the Governor, the decision to impose the curfew was taken at a State Security Council meeting presided over by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“This followed the escalated violent clash in the town since Tuesday, which has continued unabated, despite the meeting held by Government and the Olukare of Ikare, Oba Akadiri Momoh and Owa Ale of Iyometa, Oba Adeleke Adegbite to rein-in their subjects,” the statement said.
“Security agencies have been directed to ensure strict compliance with the order just as investigations are already on to unravel the real cause(s) of the violent clash.
“For emphasis, Ikare Akoko has been closed down for any unauthorised human movement and activity until further notice.”
It was gathered that youths of the community went wild on Tuesday firing gunshots following a disagreement over the staging of an annual carnival in the area.
Two persons were earlier reported to have died, but the authorities denied any loss of life.
However, several houses and shops were razed.
“Youths of the Okoja area of the town organised a New Year carnival on Tuesday at the area’s market square,” a source said.
“Some people went to disrupt the carnival, however, claiming that the organisers did not obtain approval from the traditional ruler, the Owa-Ale of Ikare.
“They burnt the house of the Olokoja, a high chief of the quarters, and that of another chief, while many shops were razed.”
The traditional ruler, Adeleke Adedoyin-Adegbite, however, told reporters on Wednesday that there was no death arising from the clash and that he had informed security operatives in the town to ensure peace.
Historically, there had been a supremacy contest between Owa-Ale and the Olukare of Ikare, the two traditional rulers in the town over the years.
In August 2022, the state government elevated the Owa-Ale to the status of a first-class traditional ruler, making the town have two first-class obas.
The elevation of the Owa-Ale, residents say, had raised the rivalry to a new high.
Police spokesperson, Olufunmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, also confirmed no life was lost in the conflict.
“No casualty whatsoever had been recorded to the best of my knowledge,” she said.
“The warring parties have been warned to maintain peace, policemen and soldiers are patrolling the town to ensure law and order within the area.”
A similar crisis had occurred in the town last year within the Muslim community over the position of the Chief Imam of the community, a standoff that forced the police to lock up the central mosque against attacks.
It took the efforts of the state government and security agencies to calm the nerves and return order among the worshippers.
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