An uneasy calm now pervades the ancient town of Eruwa in Oyo State, following the violent clash over the Supreme Court’s dethronement of Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adebayo Adegbola, which occurred on November 29, 2019.
During the November clash, one person lost his life as traditionalists/herbalists and hoodlums sacked the streets.
Properties worth over half a billion naira were destroyed, especially those belonging to perceived and alleged loyalists of the dethroned king.
One of those who lost their properties in the melee is the Ola family of Eruwa town, whom traditionalists in the community consider as ally of the deposed king.
During the attack, one of the sons of the current aged chief priest (Oluawo) of the community, identified as Bankole Ola, was killed.
The attackers were peeved against the deposed king, accusing the him of shielding one of the Ola family’s sons, Olusegun Ola, from punishment, following Olusegun’s refusal to accept the position of Oluawo in replacement of his nonagenarian uncle, Chief Ajaka Ola, who is currently enfeebled.
The old chief priest is said to be battling with some old age-related ailment, and could no longer function optimally as the chief priest, and therefore ought to be replaced for the continuity of the community’s annual yam festival.
However, Olusegun, who was reportedly chosen by the community’s oracle to replace his sick uncle rejected the offer in deference to his Christian belief.
CompassNg gathered that since there was nobody to lead the new yam festival, nobody can sell or eat yam in the community, as traditionalists have vowed that anyone caught eating or selling yam would be dealt with.
It was gathered that during the clash, two petrol filling stations, reportedly belonging to one Chief Aremu, a relation of the deposed monarch, were torched.
Meanwhile, a senior member of the Nigerian Herbalists and Traditionalists Association, NHTA, in the South West geo-political zone, Chief Ismail Akiode, in a telephone chat with our correspondent, blamed the attack on Olusegun’s refusal to accept the Oluawo (chief priest) title, which had resulted in the inability of the community to hold its annual yam festival.
Akiode said traditionalists in the community were embittered about many things in the community before the Supreme Court judgement.
He also lamented that it was unfortunate and uncalled for that a whole community would be held to ransom by someone’s refusal to take up a title that would make everyone happy in the community, adding that for now, it is a taboo and forbidden for anyone to eat or sell yam in Eruwa.
According to him, the herbalists and traditionalists association would discuss the matter in its meeting slated to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State, later this month.
He, however, appealed to the traditionalists and other stakeholders in the community to eschew violence and show restraint, even as a new monarch is set to emerge in the community.
All efforts made to speak with Divisional Police Officer of Eruwa division of the Nigeria Police Force yielded no result, as calls made to his mobile number went unanswered.
Meanwhile, the corpse of Bankole, the killed son of the Oluawo, has been deposited at the Eruwa General Hospital’s mortuary for autopsy.