Outrage as Masquerade Attack Church, Smashes Worshiper's Head with Bottle

September 14, 2016, 3:44 pm

Tension is now  brewing in Ado Ekiti , Ekiti State capital over alleged  invasion of Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Oke Ila  in the
capital city by  suspected masqueraders, who smashed the head of a worshipper with a broken bottle in the process.

The Vicar of the Church, Reverend Zacchaeus Ibitoye, who described the invasion as sacrilegious and barbaric , warned that Ado Ekiti should not be turned into a safe haven for criminals  and  where people would be living in palpable fear, saying the town is for all Ekiti and
Nigerian citizens.

But the Odogun of Ado Ekiti , Chief  Obayemi Aladetoyinbo, who was the custodian of the masquerade called ‘Paragogo’ whose adherents had shaken the entire Ado Ekiti last Saturday, ascribed the incident to either robbery or  cultists’ attack , which he alleged had become rampant in the area.

Aladetoyinbo said the incident occurred at  5am a day preceding his festival and that it would be wrong to have fingered his people as
being behind the  nefarious act.

The Chief added that he had reported to the police several times about the activities of cultists in Oke Ila area, who normally involved in
day and night robbery and wondered why nothing has been done to abate the situation.

The incident, which occurred on Friday, was believed to have accounted for why Governor Ayodele Fayose and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, had  placed outright ban on masquerade festival on Monday coupled with how people were being dehumanized in town .

The duo of the Governor and the monarch had in separate adverts aired on the radio version of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State,
ordered the police to arrest whoever defies the directive, maintaining that peaceful co-existence among Ekiti indigenes is paramount to them.

Relaying the incident to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Reverend Ibitoye said they were in the church on the said  day when one of
their members , who was returning home after prayers was chased back into the church promises by cudgel-wielding masqueraders and smashed his head with a broken bottle.

The cleric said they immediately rushed the victim to the hospital for medical care after losing so much blood due to the severity of the
wound.

“This is sacrilegious and barbaric. We want the indigenes of Ado Ekiti to know that the town is home for everybody and not for the natives
alone. We have reported the issue to the police and I think the boy who committed the offence has been arrested.

“We have also reported the case to the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, BishopChristopher Omotunde, the  Ewi –in-Council and the Odogun of Ado Ekiti in particular , who they said was in charge of the masquerades and they all condemned the action.

“Our church leaders had met and we will meet today by 4pm to take a definite position on the matter before proceeding to Ewi’s palace
where the suspect will be tried traditionally before other things shall follow.

“That was the first time we will be witnessing such attack and we wondered why a church that is supposed to be a place of refuge could
be subjected to attacks by masquerades”, he said.

Aladetoyinbo, who is the traditional prime Minister of Ado Ekiti, said “I have even taken time to report the activities of the cultists
during a meeting of Ado Ekiti Security Advisory Committee, comprising the chiefs and the security chiefs about the activities of these
cultists who have taken over Oke Ila area.

“At times, they will be shooting into the air sporadically in the daylight and this is becoming so bad and I think they were
responsible for the attack and this is condemnable. “We invited the governor of our state, Mr Ayodele Fayose to our festival and I don’t think we could invite the governor and at the same time be fomenting trouble”, he  said.

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