The Ogun State Police Command has arrested nine Oro worshippers for allegedly attacking some Muslims in Idi-Iroko, in the Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State during the Oro festival.
The Oro adherents reportedly imposed a curfew on the people in the area on Saturday, which was defied by some Muslims in the area who went out to observe their prayers.
PUNCH Metro gathered that some Muslims resident in the area were beaten and their properties vandalized, by the Oro worshippers for alleged non-compliance with the order.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed that nine suspects had been arrested.
Oyeyemi identified the suspects as Idowu Desu, Monday Akinlolu, Dele Dada, Raimi Jacob, Dondo Sunday, Abiola Azeez, Olarewaju Akerele, Nurudeen Lawal and Tetede Jamiu.
The PPRO said the suspects would be charged to court for breach of peace and other criminal acts.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of his assailants, a victim, Tolahat Yahya, alleged that the Oro worshippers destroyed his car during the festival.
Yahya, who showed our correspondent his bruised body, claimed that he and his colleagues were attacked on their way to the mosque.
He said, “We were coming back from a programme at our mosque when the Oro worshippers attacked us. They beat us because we did not comply with the curfew order.
“We stood our ground and grabbed three of them, whom we later handed over to the police.
“The intimidation is too much; they refused to allow us practise our religion despite the agreement that the Oro ritual will not be performed at daybreak; they did not obey that.”
A peace meeting was reported to have been held on Thursday between the Muslims and the Oro worshippers.
The meeting, however, ended in deadlock.
Our correspondent, who obtained a copy of the report of the peace meeting held before the Saturday attack, gathered that the traditional ruler in the community allegedly refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding proposed by the Muslim community.
He was reported to have insisted that the community had been performing daybreak rituals for long and would not stop.
The monarch further said the Muslims must be ready to either accept the tradition or leave the community.
He said, “I am the king here and I have authority over all my subjects, which cannot be queried by anyone.
“Traditional worshippers are not criminals and any action you see them take is a counter reaction to an action.”
But in his reaction, the leader of the Muslim community advised the monarch to ensure that the community obeyed the judgment of the court that warned against observing the Oro ritual at daybreak.
The High Court sitting in Ipokia had given a judgement that the Oro adherents must desist from holding their festival at daybreak in any part of the area.