Claims & counterclaims, as calmness returns to Ikare Akoko

Report says that calmness has returned to Ikare, as Operatives of the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police have taken over the Ikare Akoko community in Ondo State over a leadership crisis that led to the destruction of cars and houses.

The recent crisis that began on Monday was the outcome of the cold war between two monarchs in the community, the Olukare and the Owa Ale.

Olukare of Ikare, Oba Oba Akadiri Saliu Momoh, had in January dethroned Chief Idowu Ogunye as Olokoja of Okoja who is one of the High Chiefs of Owa-Ale, and appointed one Chief Sunday Bada as the new Olokoja.

Oba Momoh had cited absenteeism from meetings, disloyalty and refusal to obey his directives as reasons for dethroning Chief Ogunye, an action that had been declared as illegal and strange to Ikare tradition by Ogunye.

The latest crisis that erupted in the community was over who has the right to summon a periodic meeting of Okoja community.

Bada, in a statement, who claimed his house was destroyed during the fracas, said Chief Ogunye was advised to approach the court to fight his dethronement.

“On this note I call on well meaning indigenes of Okoja and Ikare to prevail on Baba Idowu Ogunye the ‘dethroned’ Olokoja to stop bringing hoodlums and thugs to Okoja to allow peace to reign.

“Okoja is not Okorun and its purely lies and unfair on his part to link this issue with Olukare and OwaAle Obaship tussle,” he said

But Chief Ogunye, who denied hiring thugs to disrupt the town meeting, alleged that Bada led thugs to destroy his house, insisting that security operatives were very aware whose truly fomenting trouble in Okoja and Ikare at large.

Chief Ogunye said the fracas was to cause mayhem ahead of the coronation of the new Owa Ale, Oba Adeleke Adedoyin.

Chief Ogunye said he was prepared to attend the town meetings when he heard there was fighting.

He insisted he remained the Olokoja of Okoja, saying the Olukare could not dethrone him as he was in office before the emergence of the Olukare.

“That Bada is not our family member. He is a stranger (in Okoja). I am still alive and remained the Olokoja. Olukare did not appoint me and he cannot remove me.

“They even destroyed my house. They arranged all these crisis because of the Owa Ale’s coronation, we are planning (for May 15, 2021) but we do not want anything to disrupt it. I did not bring any thug to Ikare,” he said.

Several buildings and cars were destroyed in the clash.

Ondo Police spokesman, ASP Tee Leo Ikoro who confirmed the incident, said nobody was killed in Ikare since Monday when the crisis started.

Ikoro said heavy security personnel had been deployed to strategic locations in the town.

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