Gunshots rock Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State, over New Year carnival

January 4, 2023
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Sporadic gunshots rented the air at Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko North-East Local Government Area of Ondo State for the second consecutive day on Wednesday sending residents scampering to safety.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the firing of gunshots began on Tuesday when youths from a part of the town staged a New Year carnival.

A resident claimed that two lives had been lost, houses and shops had been razed, and properties worth millions of naira had been destroyed.

“Youths of Okoja area of the town organized a New Year carnival on Tuesday at the area’s market square.

“Some people went to disrupt the carnival, however, claiming that the organizers 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.

“I have been informed that they are going to my house to burn it and I don’t know what we people of Okoja quarters did to deserve this,’’ he said.

Speaking with NAN, the Owa-Ale of Ikare, Oba Adeleke Adedoyin-Adegbite, said there was no casualty and that had informed security operatives in the town to ensure peace.

“When the crisis started on Tuesday and I was informed, I called the attention of the Nigeria Police and commander of the Nigerian Army in the town for peace to reign, which was achieved immediately.

“Unfortunately, on Wednesday, some gun-toting people emerged from only God knows where and started shooting sporadically in the direction of a popular junction close to my palace.

“I have called the Nigerian Army and the Police for their intervention. I am appealing to our people, especially our youths, to shun whatever is capable of disturbing the peace in the town,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Ikare had been embroiled in a supremacy battle between the 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.

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SP Olufunmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, police spokesperson in Ondo State, confirmed the latest two-day fracas to NAN and also said no casualty was recorded.

“No casualty whatsoever had been recorded to the best of my knowledge.

“The warring parties have been warned to maintain peace, policemen and soldiers are patrolling the town to ensure law and order within the area,’’ Odunlami-Omisanya said.

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