During the egungun festival, some Muslims and masqueraders engaged in a free-for-all, causing chaos in Ogbaagba, Olaoluwa local government of Osun State.
According to information acquired, the attack also wrecked cars and houses in besides injuring four persons.
According to Osun Defender, among the injured was 90-year-old Abdulganiy Iyanda, and a child belonging to one of the masqueraders was also struck in the mouth by a stone.
The event happened on Sunday, October 22, 2023,
An eyewitness claims that the situation erupted when the masqueraders embarked on a procession and attempted to pass through the front of Temidire mosque.
The masqueraders were allegedly confronted by a female Muslim who warned them not to proceed toward the mosque. This allegedly sparked an argument that eventually became violent.
It was gathered that the Muslims and masqueraders peddled one another with stones and later engaged in the use of cutlasses and charms.
An emergency peace meeting was conveyed at the palace of Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Oba Sikrulahi Akinropo.
The Chief Imam of Ogbaagba, Alhaji Sikirullahi Adetona; Imam of Temidire mosque where the crisis started, Alhaji Sakariyahu Abdulganiy; the head of the masquerades of the town, Ojeyemi Ogundeji and others were summoned at the palace for amicable settlement.
But the two camps couldn’t reach a truce at the palace, forcing the police to transfer the case to State Criminal Investigations Department, Osogbo.
Oba Akinropo, said peace had returned to the community following the intervention of the police, stating that the clash was unexpected.
Oba Akinropo appealed to various religion adherents to cohabit with one another peacefully and shun hatred and violence.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, Abdulganiyu, the Imam of Temidire mosque, accused the masquerades of deliberate provocation, saying they intentionally caused the crisis.
He said: “I was not there when the incident started. Someone called me that they (the masqueraders) had attacked our house. Our family house is beside the mosque and since we have been living there, no masquerade has ever passed that place.
“On Sunday, our father’s last wife who had a shop in front of the house was in her shop when the masqueraders arrived and started singing and dancing at the front of the house as they advanced to the mosque area. My elder brother and our aged father were the only male at home that day.
The woman who is burqa asked the masqueraders to leave but some women among them started hurling abusive words at her. After a while, they left but later returned few minutes later and started throwing stones at our house.
“Our aged father (Abdulganiyi Iyanda) who came out to see what was happening outside was hit by a stone. This infuriated our brother and he approached the person that threw the stone and that was how the fight started.
“There was an elderly man among the masqueraders who was cautioning them and he managed to persuade them to leave our house.
“About 10 minutes after, the leader of all masquerades in the town (Alagbaa) led some people again to our house and they started throwing stones.
“I was told that Alagbaa said since we didn’t allow the masquerade to pass through our house and mosque, they will also be removing the burqa on our women whenever they see them in town.
“This infuriated our people and led to a big fight. My son (Lukman Zakariya) was almost killed during that fight.
“On my way coming to the town, I branched at the police station to report what I heard and two policemen followed me but the masqueraders have left before we got home. We were told they have been asked to report at the palace.
“Unfortunately, the palace didn’t do well on the matter, that was why our people left the palace angrily.
“We went back to the mosque and we were there till about 11:00pm before I left for my house. About 15 minutes after I got home; I started hearing some voices approaching my house. I realized the people coming were the same masqueraders; I ensured that the doors and windows were well locked when I realised they were coming for me.
“They started throwing stones when they got to my house. They did that for about 20 minutes before they left.
“I went back to the police station the following morning to report. I was there when I heard that the masqueraders had gone to attack students in our Islamic school and that they were threatening to remove the hijab of the ladies there. The police arrested some people and the case have been charged to court.”
But in a video circulating on social media, wife of the head of masqueraders, Osunponmile Ogundeji, accused the Muslims of being the aggressors, saying the masqueraders were not out to fight anybody.
She said: “I witnessed the incident. We were on our way to the grave of my late husband’s brother, passing through Oosa compound. On our way, I heard a woman in boudha calling us idolators; that we should leave the area. We didn’t mind her and we continued our procession.
“Suddenly, the woman threw a stone at us. The stone fell right in front of me. I was surprised. Before I could say anything, she already took another stone. Before we got back to where she was, her husband had already came out and he slapped me before I could even ask his wife what was wrong.
“My children had to intervene in the process and that was how fight broke out. There was an old man in their house who was cautioning them before fight broke out. But they refused. Their neighbours also told us not to fight that it is their usual practice.
“When we got back home, I narrated the whole incident to my husband, the head of the masqueraders. He said he wanted to find out what was wrong and went to the place. As the head of the masqueraders, a lot of people who saw him walking to the place followed him.
“When they got there, the couple and their children continued to stone them. One of my husband’s children was macheted but the cutlass couldn’t penetrate. And the person that macheted him was beaten.
“Around 6pm of same day, some people came to warn us not to sleep in the house; that they (Muslims) would come to attack us. But I insisted that I won’t leave the house because of that. My husband left the house.
“Truly in the midnight, the Muslims (Taawun) besieged our house with dangerous weapons and they were shooting sporadically. Someone called me at that time saying battle is ongoing outside and that someone known as Baba Bisola has been shot. Some of our family members sustained injuries on their heads and feet.
“This is not the first time of going to the grave. It’s an annual ritual and this will be the first time we would be attacked.
“We informed the police before starting the celebration and they were also present at the event.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Osun Command, Mrs Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident, saying those who were arrested in connection with the clash have been charged to court.
Ogundeji, the head of the masqueraders in Ogbaagba and one other persons have been charged to court.