A bloody clash has broken out about between Muslims faithfuls and Egungun worshipers in Oyo leaving many people injured. Up to about twenty-five people have been reportedly injured in a clash between some Muslims and Egungun worshipers (Masqueraders) in Kishi, Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state.
The problem started on Tuesday when a Muslim cleric identified as Alfa Lati, insisted that masqueraders observing the annual Egungun festival should not pass through his (Alfa Lati) street, located at Koso, Mapo area of the town.
The masqueraders considered this as an affront on their own religion, and passed through the street, claiming that Kishi town belongs to every indigene of the town, irrespective of religious affiliation.
Following an instruction from Alfa Lati, his followers reportedly attacked the masquerade (Egungun) with stones and other dangerous weapons, a situation that forced the Egungun to remove his mask, and ran for dear life.
In the melee that ensued, no fewer than 15 followers of the masquerade reportedly sustained serious injuries, and this made the furious Egungun worshippers to plan a reprisal attack on Wednesday.
A source informed journalists that over 10 people from both sides were also injured during the reprisal attack on Wednesday.
It was also learnt that some of the injured persons have been taken to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara state for medial treatment.
Reacting to the incident, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the International Council for Ifa Religion, Oyo state chapter, Baba Awo Awogbemiga Bogunmbe called on the police and other security agencies to ensure that justice is done.
While condemning the attack on the Egungun worshipers, Bogunmbe noted that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes the country a multi-religious one in which every citizen is free to practice whatever religion of his or her choice.
He noted that there was no time traditional religion worshippers disrupted activities of adherents of other religions in the country, calling on the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, to use his good offices to liberate traditional religion against perpetual oppression by “foreign religions”
Publicity Secretary of Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council of Nigeria (ARSADIC), Chief Ifakayode Fayemi said he heard about the incident but was yet to get full details.
Fayemi said “I have heard about the incident, but I don’t have the details now. I will call you back when I get details.”
The Iba of Kishi, Oba Arowoduye had summoned a security meeting on Wednesday, and instructed that the ongoing 2017 annual Egungun festival should be put on hold pending the end of his 20th coronation anniversary, and to allow peace to return to the town.
The ugly incident is happening at a time the traditional ruler of the town, Oba (Engineer) Moshood Aweda Lawal Arowoduye 11, the Iba of Kishi is celebrating his 20th coronation anniversary, which is to hold between May 4th and 6th, 2017.
Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Mr. Adekunle Ajisebutu confirmed the incident to journalists. Ajisebutu revealed that the state police command has now provided adequate security to restore peace in the town.