There was heavy presence of security men in Akure, the Ondo State capital and its neighbouring Isikan community on Monday, to forestall possible breakdown of law and order in both communities over a traditional festival.
The Deji of Akure land, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi,had ordered for the closure of markets and shops in Akure and its environs including Isikan (which according to him, is part of Akure) in order to observe the celebration of the annual Aheregbe Festival.
On the contrary, the Iralepo of Isikan, Oba Olugbenga Ojo, in his own statement issued on Sunday, warned the Akure youths not to enforce closure of markets and shops in his own domain.
Oba Ojo, however said on Monday, that the state government had intervened in the situation and asked him to close markets and shops in order to avoid crisis.
He said, “Aheregbe is a festival for the people of Akure and Oba Ile Community alone and not Isikan Community. Isikan is a distinct community from Akure. We have our own festivals different from Akure. Our culture is different from that of Akure. Our forefathers are different. Our beliefs are different from that of Akure.
“In those days, markets are closed down in Akure community alone and not in Isikan.
“We are never part of Akure. The governor, through the deputy governor told us to allow peace to reign and allow markets and shops to close. The shops are closing not for Aheregbe but for security reasons. I have told the Iyaloja of Isikan Market.
“They are doing what is forbidden and the repercussions are on them. It will follow them to the 7th generation.
“This is the last time we will close our markets and shops, It will not happen again. Our boys are outside but we do not want bloodshed. Isikan is never part of Akure. They met me here. I am the aboriginal owner of the land.”
It was gathered that the presence of security personnel in major streets of Akure was to prevent a possible clash between youths and residents of the two communities
It was also observed that two police patrol vans were stationed in front of the Island Palace.