The ancient city of Abeokuta was thrown into pandemonium on Monday after a masquerade allegedly shot dead an Islamic cleric identified as Lateef Sabiu during Egungun festival.
The attack on the Islamic cleric led to a reprisal attack as Islamic youths allegedly razed down a building belonging to traditional worshippers in protest against the murder of one of their members.
The 22-year Islamic Cleric was allegedly shot dead Sunday evening while he was on a motorcycle during a ‘stop and search’ in Ijaye area of the city.
It was gathered that the masquerade popularly called “lehin Aponle” (a Yoruba word that is usually said in full this way; “Lehin aponle, abuku lo ku, meaning, after respect comes disgrace), was allegedly armed with guns and other dangerous weapons.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO Muyiwa Adejobi, while confirming the incident told newsmen in Abeokuta that the Command had arrested three persons along with the masquerade over the murder of the late Cleric.
Adejobi stated that the Command had suspended further activities of the year 2013 edition of masquerade festival in the state.
“Those we arrested in connection with the murder are 40-year-old Ajayi Olabintan, Shittu Adeyemi, Wahed Babalola and the masquerade.”
Speaking on the incident, one of the community leaders, the Balogun of Ijaye and Aare of Egbaland, Chief Ganiyu Babayeju-Alemo, said the crisis has forced the Egba Traditional Council to suspend other activities for the 2013 Egungun festival in Abeokuta.