Five persons were feared dead in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Sunday during the ongoing Egungun festival as two groups of hoodlums clashed while the celebration was underway.
It was further gathered that many people sustained varying degrees of injury during the fracas that occurred in the vicinity of Idi-Arere and Oja’ba and lasted for about 90 minutes. Motorists, passengers and other people in the area scampered for safety during the pandemonium.
The violent clash was said to have occurred when a popular masquerade, ‘Ege’ was moving from Born Photo and Iyana Asuni to Idi-Arere Junction.
Dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, guns, swords, broken bottles, stones and charms were said to have been freely used during the mayhem. The hoodlums reportedly rose against a team of policemen detailed to maintain peace and security during the festival.
The hoodlums reportedly stoned the policemen, who had to teargas them and at the same time shot sporadically to scare the hoodlums away.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, said: “Reports reaching us were clear that our men who had been deployed to the major axis of the city in preparation and anticipation of the Egungun festival by the Commissioner of Police to forestall a breakdown of law and order, are on ground.
“However, the Commissioner of Police will not spare anybody found to be causing violence in the state as enough measures to keep the state safe had been put in place.”