Oro worshippers in police net for attacking Muslims, Christians in Ogun
Police in Ogun State say they have arrested nine persons who allegedly attacked Christians and Muslims at Idiroko in Ipokia Local Government area of Ogun State, during a festival at the weekend. They are: Idowu Disu, Monday Akinlolu, Dele Dada, Raimi Jacob, Dondo Sunday, Abiola Azeez, Olarewaju Akerele, Nurudeen Lawal and Tetede Jamiu.
The Oro adherents were said to have imposed curfew on Idiroko, a border community between Nigeria and Benin Republic, but some Muslims and Christians were said to have defied the restriction order, hence the attack. Many Muslims and Christians who stood against the curfew were beaten, while their properties were also vandalised. It will be recalled that the Oro worshippers had on August 21 signed an agreement to put an end to daytime Oro festival in Ipokia communities. They, however, reneged on the agreement when they imposed curfew on the communities, paralysing commercial activities last Tuesday. On Saturday again, another curfew was imposed on the affected communities, but this time, some Christians and Muslims reportedly defied the ‘sit-at-home’ order, a situation that prompted the attack. It was learnt that many Muslims and Christians who stood against the act were beaten and their properties were also vandalized. A victim, Tolahat Yahya alleged that the Oro adherents destroyed his car during the attacks. They beat us because we did not obey the curfew order. We stood our ground and we ensured we got hold of some of them who we later handed over to the police. The intimidation is too much; they refused to allow us practise our religion despite the agreement that the Oro ritual will not be performed in day-break, they did not obey that,” he said. The traditional worshippers laid ambush for the victims and beat them blue and black. Government should ensure strict compliance of the ban against Oro adherents who are hellbent on carrying out their festival in the day time at the expense of others,” a resident of Ajegunle said. Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the nine suspects who were Oro adherents have been arrested while committing the dastardly act. Oyeyemi said the suspects would be charged to court for breach of peace and other criminal acts.