Lagosians yesterday protested the alleged desecration of their ancestral shrine at Ejigbo town in Lagos State. The enclosed premises of the shrine was sealed up on Wednesday by the Council persons acting at the behest at the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Government Development Area, Monsurudeen Oloyede Bello over alleged dispute ahead of the festival. The
Lagosians yesterday protested the alleged desecration of their ancestral shrine at Ejigbo town in Lagos State.
The enclosed premises of the shrine was sealed up on Wednesday by the Council persons acting at the behest at the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Government Development Area, Monsurudeen Oloyede Bello over alleged dispute ahead of the festival.
The action of the government, followed a running battle between the monarch of the town, Oba Moruf Adekunle Ojoola, the Ojon of Ejigbo and the community leader, Prince Jelili Akinfunmi.
The once-in-five-year festival, which was supposed to commence yesterday, according to Bello, was taken to avert breakdown of law and order after the alleged refusal of parties in the crises to sheath their swords despite several entities.
“As a government, we will not sit by and allow a peaceful community to turn into a crisis area. That is the reason for suspending the festival pending the time the parties involved would resolve their matter,” he said.
He stated that a former Lagos State Commissioner intimated the council about an impending crisis in the community on April 15.
He said: “Immediately, we called the parties involved for a meeting but the monarch requested it tbe shifted to the following week.
“The meeting was eventually held on April 23. We were on the verge of reaching a settlement when a chief in the palace uttered a derogatory statement. This made the parties involved postponed the meeting to another date.
“Before that date, I received a call from the police over a petition on the matter and the need to make some arrests. I told the police that we were on the verge of settling the matter but the police insisted that the council should allow them to do their work, which I obliged. After their investigations, the matter was taken to court.
“Justice M.O. Tanimola ruled that a “Status quo” be maintained. While both parties were claiming that the ruling favours them, the council applied to the court for the interpretation of the ruling and sealed the shrine on May 3 pending the response from the court.”
The council chief expressed annoyance that two chiefs in the community went to break up the padlock and entered the shrine on Monday.
“We understand that the king is the custodian of the tradition, but when exercising such tradition will lead to chaos in the community…
“We had to wade in to forestall it. This is what we have done and we have written to the state government on the actions taken so far,” he said.
He warned that on no account should anybody try to unseal the shrine, noting that the security operatives will be parading to arrest whoever tries to flout the order.
“We’ll re-seal the shrine and urged the police to arrest anyone that came close to the place. We urged you all to keep a distance from the shrine. Anybody that is arrested will be prosecuted.
“I am an indigene of this town and Omagbo Festival is an age long festival identified with peace and tranquillity. We won’t allow anyone to truncate the peaceful nature of this town. Ejigbo must develop,” he said
He vowed to ensure they face the law for daring the government.
He lamented the audacity of one of the parties to announce the commencement of the festival on Radio, warning that such should not repeat itself.