Three people were reportedly killed in a violent confrontation between competing cults at the Osun Osogbo festival.
Fifteen people were killed and 12 more were injured in the final brawl of the celebrated international traditional festival.
Although BANKPAWA has not been able to confirm the motive for the fight or identify the deceased, it has learned that thugs were spotted wielding a variety of lethal weapons.
The massive groups of criminals also caused terror among locals and visitors in the Jaleyemi and Isale-Osun neighborhoods of Osogbo.
The incident was confirmed by Ahmed Nureni, the Chairman of the Nigerian Hunters Group, who reported that three bodies had been found in and around the grove and that ten of the group’s members had been injured.
Along the same stretch of road, Nureni said, criminals broke into the office of the Hunters and Forest Security Service, injuring several people inside.
We saw three bodies, but we don’t know who they belonged to. Meanwhile, eight employees at our Jaleyemi district office were hurt when it was vandalized.
Iba Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba country, was likewise dismayed by the new situation.
In his speech to the Oodua Peoples Congress, Adams not only made this revelation, but he also characterized the cult clash as an invasion of the Osun grove designed to diminish the festival’s reputation on a global scale.
To protect the integrity of the religious celebration, he urged participants to provide sufficient security for tourists and visitors.
We must all work together to halt the disturbing tendency of cultists and miscreants exploiting the festival’s welcoming atmosphere in order to promote cult rivalry, which the Osun goddess despises.
This is a great chance for Osun and Nigeria to expand their tourism industries. We have a responsibility to safeguard and promote Osun-Osogbo’s international reputation.
Adams said that the event and Yoruba custom must be protected at all costs.
However, eyewitnesses say the fighting began when a member of the Nigerian Hunters Group attacked an OPC leader with a charmed ring.