There was pandemonium at Ogbagi-Akoko, in the Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State last Friday when youths of the town chased away their monarch, the Owa of Ogbagi, Oba Victor Adetona, from the palace for his refusal to approve the yearly celebration of the Ogun festival.
Our correspondent learnt that the monarch, narrowly escaped being lynched when the youth, armed with dangerous items, besieged the palace.
The youth, it was learnt, damaged vehicles and decorations in the palace said to be worth millions of naira.
Some of the youth, who craved anonymity, told our correspondent on Monday that Adetona had been disrespecting the town’s traditions since he was installed as the monarch.
One of them said, “Our king has not been respecting our traditions. He has refused to join the Awo cult. He has refused to marry another wife after he became the king; and he has consistently refused to approve the celebration of some traditional festivities.
“He has flagrantly objected to all pleas for him to respect traditions and the culture of our people and has vowed that as a born-again Christian, he will never indulge in or encourage such traditional rites throughout his reign.”
It was learnt that the monarch allegedly travelled out of the state in order not to partake in the worship of the Ogun festival.
The youth, however, monitored his movement and stormed his new palace when he returned from his journey and destroyed everything on sight.
It was further learnt that other monarchs who were with him on the fateful day, saved the situation as the youth allegedly insisted on killing Adetona.
At the palace gate, the monarch pasted the membership emblem of the Redeemed Christian Church of God while there is a place where members of his church congregate every Sunday evening for fellowship.
Some of the monarch’s family members, who conducted our correspondent round the damaged palace on Monday, said the grouse of the youth was Adetona’s refusal to engage in idolatry and marry a new wife when he ascended the throne.
When asked to comment on the incident, the monarch simply said on the phone, “It is not yet time to comment on the issue”
The Ojumu of Ogbagi, who is also the second-in-command to the monarch, Chief Richard Balogun, said there were six monarchs in the palace to welcome Adetona back from his journey when the youth besieged the palace.
He said the monarchs appealed to the youth to sheathe their swords and they agreed by returning to their homes.
Balogun said, “However, news flied around that Ogbagi was boiling, hence policemen were drafted from Ikare and when they arrived, they started shooting sporadically.
“The youths were not happy. They thought that it was the monarch who brought in the security men to arrest and shoot them. They mobilised themselves after the policemen had gone, marched to the palace and carried out the wanton destruction.”
Balogun said the grouse of the youth was that the king was not around during the celebration of the festival.
He said, “Many important personalities including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, and other prominent political leaders, royal fathers and religious leaders had already intervened.
“The youth had agreed that the monarch should return to the palace. We are meeting everyday over the matter and I believe that it will be resolved before the end of this week.”