One dies, many injured in Kwara communal clash

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A masquerade festival turned bloody when disagreement ensued between Odo-Owa and Kajola communities of Oke-Ero local government of Kwara state.

The incident claimed one life while several others were injured in the clash.

It was gathered that the two-week long annual masquerade festival began on March 31.

It was gathered that violence erupted between the two communities on Sunday as a result of minor scuffle during the commencement of this year’s masquerade festival.

Spokesperson of the state police command, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the incident. He added that the command had arrested seven suspects in connection with the clash.

He said that the situation had been put under control with the dispatch of anti-riot policemen from Offa and Omu-Aran to the affected communities.

Okasanmi said that investigation to unravel the remote cause of the crisis had already commenced.

He added that the state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun had directed that anybody found culpable in the crisis should be arrested and prosecuted.

Commenting on the clash, Olota of Odo-Owa, Oba Joshua Adimula, described the development as barbaric and unwarranted.

“The Olota-in-Council immediately swung into action to ensure that the situation did not escalate.

“I personally made contacts with both the local and state governments. We are very grateful to them, especially the governor, for the timely response,” he said.

The traditional ruler is worried that palpable tension still envelops the area.

“I am urging the government to include the military to support the police,” he said.

Adimula advised the people of the affected communities, especially the youth to embrace peace and shun acts capable of causing crisis.

“No development can take place in an atmosphere of acrimony and no investor will invest in a crisis-ridden environment.

“I am pleading with the aggrieved parties to sheath their swords and give due respect to our forefathers who laid the foundation upon which we are enjoying today,” he said.

Combined team of anti-riot policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were seen patrolling the communities.

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