Thursday, 15 September 2016

Tension as masquerades attacks Ekiti church

Tension gripped members of Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Oke Ila, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State yesterday over alleged invasion of the town by suspected masquerades who smashed the head of a worshipper with a broken bottle.

The Vicar of the Church, Rev. Zacchaeus Ibitoye, who described the invasion as sacrilegious and barbaric, warned that Ado Ekiti should not be turned into a safe haven for criminals where people would be living in fear.

However, the custodian of the masquerade called ‘Paragogo’ and the Odogun of Ado Ekiti , Chief Obayemi Aladetoyinbo, said the incident was either robbery or cultists’ attack which he said was rampant in the area.

Aladetoyinbo said the incident occurred before his festival began and it would be wrong to have fingered his people as being behind it. He added that he had reported to the police several times about the activities of cultists in Oke Ila area and wondered why nothing had been done to arrest the situation.

Following the incident, the governor, Ayodele Fayose and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, banned masquerade festival.

In separate statements on the state-owned radio, they ordered the police to arrest whoever defied the directive, maintaining that peaceful co-existence among Ekiti indigenes was paramount.

Narrating their ordeal to journalists yesterday, Rev Ibitoye said they were in the church when one of their members who was returning home after prayers was chased back into the church premises by cudgel-wielding masqueraders and smashed his head with a broken bottle.

The cleric said they took the victim to the hospital for medical care after losing so much blood.