Sunday, April 14, 2024

Three killed, others injured at Osun Osogbo festival

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

No fewer than three persons were feared killed in a clash that occurred between two rival cult groups in Osogbo, capital of Osun State on Friday.

The Point gathered that the clash occured during the grand finale of this year’s Osun Osogbo festival.

The fracas threw Osun adherents and tourists into panic as people were scampering for safety.

The cause of the clash was unknown.

At least, 10 operatives of Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Service sustained various degrees of injuries while trying to restore normalcy at the crowded grove.

The hoodlums also vandalised the NHFSS office close to the scene of the incident.

Confirming the incident, Hammed Nureni, the State Commandant of NHFSS, said no fewer than three persons were killed in the clash.

Nureni stated, “We counted three dead bodies. After the incident that happened at the grove, the hoodlums proceeded to our office and vandalized it.

“Ten of our men were also injured,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Aare Onakakanko of Yorubaland and National Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress, Gani Adams has condemned the incident.

Adams who spoke shortly after the festival said, “It is unfortunate that cultists and miscreants have been taken advantage of the hospitality of the festival to create a platform for cult rivalry which Osun goddess abhors and we must collectively stop the trend.

“This is an opportunity for Osun and Nigeria to attract tourism development. Osun-Osogbo is renown globally and we must protect and project it to the whole world. Nothing must the advancement of the festival and by extension Yoruba tradition.”

Earlier, the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke had restated the commitment of his administration to tourist development.

Adeleke said, “This year’s celebration therefore provides the greatest opportunity ever for our people to have a new look at our culture and tradition. We are challenged to capitalise on our rich culture to build an economically sound and virile nation.

“As a government, our administration has a tourism and cultural industry agenda. During the campaign and within the transition committee, we devised far-reaching programmes and policies for the arts, culture and tourism industry. We indeed created a new holistic approach by adding the creative industry as a whole.”

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