Ondo festival turns violent as hoodlums allegedly loot, hijack foodstuffs, others

Some hoodlums in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Thursday turned the ongoing traditional festival of the town into a looting spree.

With markets and shops shut during the commemoration of the age-long festival, the hoodlums who were mostly youths were seen moving from streets to streets, looting shops and stalls suspected to be flouting the observance of the festival.

The Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo had ordered a total closure of markets in the town in respect of the annual commemoration of the ‘Aheregbe’ and ‘Amole’ festivals in the town.

With shops and markets deserted by traders, some hoodlums hijacked a bus loaded with foodstuff and other household materials at Bolajoko area of Oke-Aro, within the state capital.

It was gathered that the youths under the guise of enforcing the ‘Aheregbe’ festival also seized the Sales Representative’s three-year-old daughter and handset after deflating the bus tyres.

With the situation causing panic among motorists and residents, as they thought the youths were robbers, the Sales Rep who identified himself as Festus said he was taking his daughter to school when the hoodlums blocked him at Bolajoko junction.

According to him, his bus was emptied by the hoodlums who failed to listen to his explanation that he was just taking his daughter to school and not heading to the shop.

However, it took the spirited effort of some people around the area to appeal to the hoodlums to release his daughter.

Also, at the College of Health Technology axis, along Oda road, another set of hoodlums were seen looting kiosks.

When contacted over the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the Akure monarch, Michael Adeyeye said the palace was not aware of the incidents.

While assuring that proper investigation would be done to unmask the perpetrators for necessary traditional actions, Adeyeye emphasized that the palace did not send anybody to cause confusion.

He also warned hoodlums against hijacking the peaceful festival.