10 killed in Ondo communal crisis

  • Monday, February 25, 2008 - By TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure
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No fewer than 10 persons were reportedly killed at the weekend in Ugbonla Zion, a community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, as the leadership crisis rocking the community took a dangerous dimension.

The community, which had been engulfed by crisis in the last three months, allegedly boiled over on Friday night when irate youths in the town reportedly clashed with a group of mobile policemen. In the ensuing melle, about ten persons were said to have jumped into the sea where they subsequently perished.

The monarch was said to have been picked up by the police and moved to Abuja. He reportedly regained his freedom a few days ago.
According to reports, trouble was said to have started when the monarch of the town, Oba Henry Mobolorunduro Ogunfeyimi allegedly diverted N30 million meant for the development of the area for his personal use.

The crisis got to a head on Friday when the people of the community gathered at the front of the palace for an emergency meeting . During the meeting, a prominent son of the area, Chief Enitan Akinrutan was said to have invaded the town with some mobile policemen who allegedly harassed and intimidated members of the community.

The leaders alleged that a prominent son of the town was behind the crisis.
A source however gave Akinrutan a clean bill of health, saying the oil magnate was actually held hostage by some youths who were said to be loyal to the deposed Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Prince Adebambo Mafimisebi.

Akinrutan was said to have been kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination by the irate youths.
He was reportedly freed on Sunday due to the intervention of a community leader, in Ilaje, Chief Olusola Oke and OSOPADEC Chairman, Pastor Adewale Omojuwa.
A group loyal to the deposed Olugbo has however said it had no hand in the crisis rocking the community.

When contacted, the image maker of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr Adeniran Aremu said he had not been properly briefed on the matter.
A top official of the State Security Service (SSS) who spoke under anonymity however said no casualty was recorded in the incident.

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