No fewer than three persons have been reported dead in Agosasa, Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State after violence erupted over who becomes the next monarch of the town.
Following the death of the first Oja of Agosasa, Oba James Elegbede, in February 2022, there has been tension over who would take over the throne.
It was gathered that the Obaship tussle got to its climax on Sunday when the youths of Agosasa took to the streets to warn against the installation of an unpopular candidate as the next Oja.
Our correspondent learnt from an anonymous source that “the youths of Agosasa are against the alleged steps being taken by a socialite and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Otunba Akeem Adigun, to install a king.
On Sunday, about five persons were reportedly injured and taken to hospital when the face-off started.
“The intervention of soldiers, policemen and traditionalists helped to stop the crisis on Sunday evening. I could not pass through the town while going home,” an Ipokia resident told our correspondent.
The situation, however, got out of hand on Monday with the murder of one Nafiu Amosun, who was said to be the closest ally to the candidate being supported by the youths of Agosasa.
The angry youths alleged that the said Nafiu Amosun was shot dead near the Afa river by the other faction and this triggered the current chaos in the community.
As of Monday evening, houses and vehicles belonging to Akeem Adigun; a former council Chairman and appointee of Governor Dapo Abiodun, Isiaka Aderounmu and others have been set on fire by some angry youths.
Also, two more persons were said to have been killed, making a total of three lives lost in the melee.
“At the moment, Agosasa is like a ghost town with a heavy presence of soldiers and policemen. Residents are indoors as those who could flee are already on their way out of the town. Some are running away through the forest. It is getting out of hand,” another source said in confidence.
It was gathered that chiefs and elders of the town are also on the run over fear that their houses might be razed.
Meanwhile, sons and daughters of Ipokia Local Government have taken to social media to call for calm, asking the State Government to take an urgent step to restore peace in Agosasa.
“There is war in Agosasa. This is not a joke. The Ogun State Government should stay action on Agosasa Obaship issue for now,” an elder has advised.
The Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ganiyu Hamzat, did not answer calls nor respond to text messages sent to him to react to the situation.
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, has confirmed the incident, saying one person was confirmed to have been shot dead to the best of his knowledge.
“The incident in Agosasa is an Obaship tussle. Unfortunately, one person was shot. We learnt that some houses and vehicles were razed. But our men are there on ground. The operation is being led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operations. Normalcy has been restored and our men are on ground to forestall the further escalation of the crisis,” Oyeyemi said.
The police spokesman disclosed that some arrests have been made but refused to give further details about those arrested.
Oyeyemi warned that people should not take laws into their hands for any reason.
He said the Obaship tussle should have been left for the court to address, saying “we don’t need to shed blood because of the Oba title.”
“If everyone in the town had been killed before the installation, who will the new king rule over? Its not worth it. Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of anybody. We should learn how to address issues legally instead of toeing the path of violence. It doesn’t pay anybody,” he advised.