The Ekiti State Police Command have arrested one person in connection with the death of two persons in a crisis that happened at the weekend during the violent protest that erupted in Ire Ekiti, Oye local government area of Ekiti State, over the Ogun Onire festival celebration.
The police said they have identified 15 persons allegedly as the arrowheads of the crisis and have declared them wanted.
The crisis arose from a state government’s pronouncement banning the celebration of all traditional festivals, including the Ogun Onire, in the state as part of efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our correspondent gathered that as the monarch of the town, Oba Victor Bobade, sought to enforce the government’s directive, some adherents of the Ogun Onire took up arms against him and initiated a crisis, attacking his palace and burning his vehicles.
The police had to be called in and in their ensuing effort to control the crisis.
The Ekiti State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Sunday Abutu, told journalists yesterday that one of the persons allegedly fingered in the killing had been arrested and detained.
“One person has been arrested and more than 15 persons have been declared wanted. They have run away but our men are on their trail.
“We won’t allow people to take laws into their hands or resort to self-help over small issues. We will apprehend whoever had hands in these killings and ensure they face the full weight of the law,” Abutu said.
He denied the accusation by some indigenes in the town that the casualties fell to stray bullets fired by the policemen deployed to the town to quell the crisis.
He said, “Go and check the corpses of the two persons that were killed during the crisis. No sign of gunshots. In fact, they were clubbed to death.
“The two rival factions were carrying planks and other dangerous weapons and those who died were hit with dangerous weapons, so they didn’t die through gunshots,” he said.
Abutu said the policemen would remain in Ire until normalcy returns to the restive community.