BY GBENGA OLARINOYE
OSOGBO — Members of Ogboni Confraternity in Osogbo may have turned the Osun Grooves to battle field following a fracas which ensued between two factions of the group.
During the crisis which occurred, last week, the curator and site manager of the National Museum, Osogbo, under the National Commission for Museum and Monument Department of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Mr. Olakunle Makinde, was caught in the web of the crisis and beaten blue black which led to his being hospitalised.
Also, staff of the commission whose offices are located inside the Osun Grooves have deserted thier offices for almost a week for fear of being attacked like their boss.
It was gathered that the fracas started following attempt to appoint new leader of the confraternity in Osogbo called Are Ogboni. It was gathered that one Okiki was appointed the new Are Ogboni and was to be crowned by the Olu-awo, Alhaji Adebisi, but because of the rift between Okiki and Olu-awo, Adebisi was by-passed while the World President known as Alaye was invited from Imesi-Ile for the installation.
Shortly after the installation, the poster of new Are Ogboni was pasted on the Ogboni meeting Centre called Iledi located inside Osun Grooves. It was learnt that some members loyal to Adebisi, the Olu-awo tore the posters at Iledi which resulted in the fracas.
In the ensuing melee, several people were injured as dangerous weapons were freely used before the intervention of policemen from the Zone II of the Nigeria Police. Some personalties were reportedly arrested, detained and later released on bail.
Efforts by members loyal to the new Are Ogboni (Okiki) to take over the control of Iledi, the meeting venue of the confraternity, compounded the crisis as the two factions are laying claim to the centre.
The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun and his traditional chiefs have intervened in the matter and appealed to the two factions to maintain law and order promising to look into the matter.
It was also learnt the matter has been officially reported to the Director General of National Museum and Monuments, Yusuf Abdudala Usman and Director of Heritage Sites and Monuments, Mr. Oluremi Adebayo and security operatives towards guarantee the safety of the staff of the Osogbo National Museum.