The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Osun State has berated Governor Ademola Adeleke over his silence to the news of deaths recorded during this year’s Osun-Osogbo festival.
The Osun APC alleged that the State government had not deemed it fit to issue an official statement on the savoury development.
The party made this known in a statement signed by its chairman, Tajudeen Lawal on Saturday in Osogbo.
Recall that three persons had died and several others injured in a violent clash that erupted during the grand finale of the festival in Osogbo on Friday.
The party also condemned the militarisation of the festival by non-state actors which resulted in the casualties.
According to the statement, “A fact-check on the situation that led to the killing of the three persons who were suspected cultists loyal to the State Governor Ademola Adeleke-led administration indicated that it was a supremacy battle between two rival cultist groups on the entourage of the governor that brewed the ghastly violent attack.
“It was also discovered by a credible source close to the centre of the event that two other persons drowned during the celebration of the grand finale of the annual Osun Osogbo festival at the Osun River yesterday.
“It was, however, strange that 24 hours after the killing of the suspected cultists and the drowning of two other devotees in the Osun River, the Governor Adeleke-led administration has not deemed it fit to issue an official statement on the unsavoury development.
“I am not surprised that the Adeleke administration is sanguinary and violence-laden as the governor himself relishes in moving with armed notorious thugs across the State, mainly those who are on the Wanted List of the police.
“Adeleke could not condemn the brutal activities of the thugs as they were those who rigged the last series of elections for him and the other candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where no fewer than 30 members of the APC were mowed down through the bullets of the PDP political hoodlums.”
While asking the police and other security agencies in the State to investigate the killings, the Osun APC chairman maintained that the Adeleke administration owed the people of the State an explanation on why the government had refused to make any pronouncement on the development.
Reacting, the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Bankole Ojo advised the APC to shun petty politics while trying to warm themselves out of idleness.
Ojo also warned that playing politics with human life is the height of cruelty anyone could exhibit under whatever guise.
While asking the APC to get their facts right and stop playing politics with human life, he condemned what he described as a classless attempt by the opposition party to link pockets of confrontation among some cultural groups at the event to the Governor Ademola Adeleke-led PDP government.
“While His Excellency, Governor Ademola Adeleke did everything as acknowledged by several stakeholders in culture and tourism sector in the country and beyond, to make the annual festival exceptionally memorable, the tumultuous crowd that thronged this year’s event ensured a difficult time for security agencies to curtail the age long rivalry between some traditional groups resulting in some open confrontations.
“Preliminary reports available to the ministry which in turn will be forwarded to the His Excellency, the State Governor suggested that some groups of hunters and the Oodua Peoples Congress, most of whom are not residents in the State, took their traditional rivalry out of control just after successful completion of cultural rites at the festival groove. Both groups we would recall, usually form a significant number of devotees at the annual event.
“While the State government and security agencies are spreading proper nets of investigation into the matter, the blood spilling opposition elements are already in town with insane figures of casualties. This is instructive for all discerning minds as to what their intentions are and what they might have done to infiltrate the colourful festival which they stopped at nothing to destroy during their inglorious reign in the State,” he said.
The commissioner assured that the State government would continue to support and preserve the World Heritage Site as designated by UNESCO due to frantic effort put into the groove by the PDP government in 2005.
“This is a legacy the current government is committed to preserve, not just as a cultural heritage of the good people of Osogbo as an ancient city, but also as an enviable tourist site amongst its peers in Nigeria and across the globe,” he noted.