Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Police Command has dismissed media reports that five persons lost their lives in Ibadan, the state capital, during an outing of a popular masquerade in Ibadan, Ege, on Sunday.
The leader of Ege masquerade, Chief Kehinde Ege, also described the reported death of five persons as untrue.
But an eyewitness insisted that five persons were feared dead and many people injured during an crisis between two groups of hoodlums the Idi-Arere and Oja’ba on Sunday. He said the situation would have been worse, but for the timely intervention of the police that checked the situation and restored normalcy to the areas.
Ege said: “No bad incident occurred during our outing on Sunday. We left home by 9a.m and we returned to our home at 3p.m. The areas we visited are Eleta, Agbongbon, Oja’ba, and Beere, and we went round with the police who provided security during the procession.
“There was no fracas when our masquerade went out. We did not go to Born Photo and Popoyemoja yesterday (Sunday).
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, in an interview with journalists in his office on Monday said the Divisional Police Officers of Idi-Aro, and Mapo, had their deployments on ground.
According to him, “the leader of the Ege masquerade was called upon and we actually spoke. He confirmed to the police that nothing of such happened because our men are on ground.
The Divisional Police Officers of Idi-Aro, and Mapo, had their deployments on ground. He said no incident actually happened. When he was even returning, no such killings happened. Nobody died and there was no clash of any sort. There was no such attack.
“There was an operation order that was released. Police officers were deployed adequately to those areas to make sure that nothing of such actually happened. Indeed, nothing of such happened because there was no official report that there was any attack or anybody injured or that sustained injury, or anybody killed in any way. Nothing of such happened because our men were actually on ground.
Fadeyi also appealed to members of the public “to go about their lawful businesses, and at the same time, our men are on ground to make sure that there is no breakdown of law and order. Also, we still want to implore them to always call us and give us credible information if any of such things is about to happen so that we can actually make sure that our men that are on ground can attend the situation. We have given out our Control Room numbers, and they should make use of the numbers.
Fadeyi stated that three persons that were arrested in connection with the fracas that trailed Egungun festival at Irefin and Ogbori-Efon in Ibadan last week had been “charged to court to serve as deterrent to others.
“We want to tell those that still have the mind to cause trouble in any way, that they should not test the collective will of the Nigeria Police and Oyo State police command because our men will definitely arrest them and they will be brought to book.”