No fewer than three persons were reportedly feared dead and 12 others injured following a violent clash between rival cult groups around the Osun-Osogbo ancient groove, during the festival’s grand finale.
INFORMATION NIGERIA reports that 10 operatives of the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Service (NHFS) were also wounded by the hoodlums during the clash on Friday.
Confirming the incident, the Chairman of the Hunter group, Ahmed Nureni, said three bodies were sighted around the groove while 10 members of the group were also injured.
“We sighted three dead bodies, though we don’t know their identities. Meanwhile, our office at Jaleyemi area was also vandalised and in the process the ten personnel were injured,” he said.
Also, reacting to the incident, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, frowned at the invasion of the Osun groove by cultists, saying it “tarnished the international status of the festival”.
Adams, who spoke shortly after the festival, said, “It is unfortunate that cultist and miscreants have been taking advantage of the hospitality of the festival to create a platform for cult rivalry which Osun goddess abhors and we must collectively stop the trend.
“This is an opportunity for Osun and Nigeria to attract tourism development. Osun-Osogbo is known globally and we must protect and project it to the whole world.