By Dayo Johnson
December 27, 2013 was like every other day for family of the Olikan elect , Adeleke Oyetakin, in Ilaje council area of Ondo State, as they made preparations towards January 1, 2013 celebration.
However, a tragic incident which changed the course of the day occurred and marred the new year. This was as a result of sporadic gunshots at about 6pm, which truncated the tranquilized atmosphere.
The gunmen numbering 10, in a commando-like manner, stormed the Ode-Etikan compound, shooting indiscriminately and in ensued stampede, members of the family scampered in different directions for safety.
But at the end of the shooting, 23 year-old Oriloye Oyetakin who was hit by bullet, died in the pool of his blood. Other members of the family whose identities were given as Ademola Ikudehinbu and Reverend .Nelson Okunomo reportedly sustained bullet wounds while others who managed to escape, were reportedly stabbed by the invaders.
Although the Ondo State Police Command said it had arrested some suspected members of the gang that sent Oriloye to an unprepared grave, but news making the round had it that the invasion could not be unconnected to a chieftaincy squabble in one of the communities. However, the question by many, is, why would Oriloye, who only visited his home town to celebrate the Christmas and New year with his parents be killed in order to settle the score.
His bereaved father, Oba elect, Adeleke Oyetakin, who still finds it difficult to come to terms with the demise of his first son, marveled at the extent people could go to achieve their sinister motive, attributing his son’s death to plot by his detractors to take his focus off the stool of his forefathers.
He therefore, called on the federal and state government , as well as the Inspector-General of Police to ensure that justice prevailed, stating that some of the assailants were still walking freely.
“All I demand is justice. I want the perpetrators of the killing to be brought to book. My late son was an amiable person who only visited to celebrate with other members of the family. I am a peaceful person and will not want to take laws into my hand. That is why I am demanding for justice”, the Oba elect said.
He also, called on the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to hasten his installation as the traditional ruler of the town, noting that only then would sanity return to the land, since he has been chosen through due process.
Reacting to the tragic incident, the Caretaker chairman of Ilaje Local Government Area, Banji Okunomo described the attack and resultant murder of Oriloye as “devastating, shocking and disturbing.Due to the unrealistic, self-seeking and selfish ambition of some elements in the town, the dream of Oriloye has not only been shattered but his life cut short”.
He said that the killing was deliberate and was masterminded by those he described as aggrieved people who lost out during the selection of the traditional ruler of the town.
According to him:” The enmity has been in the land for a long time after the selection of Adeleke as the Oba elect. I strongly believe that the installation of Oyetakin as the Oba would bring an end to these killings and lawlessness in the land. The selection process was fair and democratic.
“Out of four kingmakers, three voted for Oyetakin and one against Oroyo. So what is the noise over the stool? I envisage more security challenges if the Oba is not installed on time because we need a leader. And once the Oba is installed this will naturally die down.”
He traced the genesis of the attack to the outcome of the traditional selection process, during which a major contestant to the throne lost out.
“This is the second killing in the land since the election of the Etikan elect. First, elder Sheme was gravely beaten after the election process. He was beaten to a state of coma and unfortunately , died. The perpetrators of the killing went unpunished, and that may have spurred t the killing of Oriloye Oyetakin.
“I want to stress that the installation of Oyetakin as the Oba will bring an end to these killings and lawlessness in the land.
The Oba elect has been presented to the state governor. All that is needed now,is, the state government’s ratification and presentation of staff of office to the new Etikan elect” he said.
Police authorities confirmed the arrest of some suspects over the murder of Oriloye, adding that the dragnets had been spread to other parts of the state with a view to apprehending other fleeing suspects.
The confessional statement of those arrested was however not known as Crime Guard was simply informed that investigation was still on-going.
Speaking with Crime Guard,the command’s spokesman, Adeniran Aremu, said “ the case is still under investigation at the state Criminal Investigating Department SCID.
Yes,the command is aware of the development and it is doing all it can to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing as well as to arrest other fleeing members whose names were mentioned. That is all we can say now . We will communicate further development in due time”, Aremu said.