There was tension in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital over the alleged invasion of Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Oke-Ila by suspected masqueraders, who smashed the head of a worshipper with a broken bottle in the process.
The Vicar of the Church, Reverend Zacchaeus Ibitoye, who described the invasion as sacrilegious and barbaric, warned that Ado Ekiti should not be turned into a den for criminals and where people would be living in palpable fear, saying the town is for all Ekiti and Nigerian citizens alike.
But, the Odogun of Ado Ekiti , Chief Obayemi Aladetoyinbo, who was the custodian of the masquerade called ‘Paragogo’ whose adherents had shaken the entire Ado Ekiti last Saturday, said the incident was either robbery or cultists’ attack , whom he alleged were rampant in the area.
Aladetoyinbo said the incident occurred at 5am a day preceding his festival and that it would be wrong to have fingered his people as being behind the nefarious act.
The Chief noted that he had reported to the police several times about the activities of cultists in OkeIla area, who normally involve in day and night robbery and wondered why nothing has been done to abate the situation.
The crisis which occurred on Friday must have accounted for why Governor Ayodele Fayose and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, had placed outright ban on masquerade festival on Monday coupled with how people were being dehumanized in town.
The Governor and the monarch had in separate public announcement on the radio of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, BSES, ordered the police to arrest whoever defies the directive, maintaining that peaceful co-existence among Ekiti indigenes is paramount to them.
Explaining the incident to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Reverend Ibitoye, said they were in the church on the said day when one of their members, who was returning home after prayers was chased back into the church promises by cudgel-wielding masqueraders and smashed his head with a broken bottle.
The cleric said they immediately rushed the victim to the hospital for medical care after losing so much blood due to the severity of the wound.
“This is sacrilegious and barbaric. We want the indigenes of Ado Ekiti to know that the town is home for everybody and not for the natives alone. We have reported the issue to the police and I think the boy who committed the offence has been arrested.
“We have also reported the case to the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Bishop Christopher Omotunde, the Ewi –in-Council and the Odogun of Ado Ekiti in particular , who they said was in charge of the masquerades and they all condemned the action.
“Our church leaders had met and we will meet today by 4pm to take a definite position on the matter before proceeding to Ewi’s palace where the suspect will be tried traditionally before other things shall follow.
“That was the first time we will be witnessing such attack and we wondered why a church that is supposed to be a place of refuge could be subjected to attacks by masquerades”, he said.
Aladetoyinbo, who is the traditional prime Minister of Ado Ekiti, said “I have even taken time to report the activities of the cultists during a meeting of Ado Ekiti Security Advisory Committee, comprising the chiefs and the security chiefs about the activities of these cultists who have taken over OkeIla area.
“At times, they will be shooting into the air sporadically in the daylight and this is becoming so bad and I think they were responsible for the attack and this is condemnable.
“We invited the governor of our state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose to our festival and I don’t think we could invite the governor and at the same time be fomenting trouble”, he said.
In his reaction, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ekiti State Command, Mr. Alberto Adeyemi, said some people have been arrested in connection to the incident, saying investigation is ongoing.

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