3 killed, 12 injured as cultists clash during Osun-Osogbo festival grand finale

No fewer than three persons were reportedly killed and twelve others injured on Friday following a violent clash between rival cult groups around the Osun-Osogbo ancient groove, during the festival’s grand finale.

The Office of Hunters and Forest Security Service located along the road was also attacked and vandalised with its personnel injured in the attack.

As at the time of filing this report, identities of the victims and two of the injured persons were yet to be ascertained, but hoodlums were seen brandishing dangerous weapons, disrupting activities, creating panic among residents and tourist around Jaleyemi and Isale-Osun area of Osogbo.

The State Chairman of the Hunter group, Ahmed Nureni, confirmed that 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.

This is as the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, frowned at the invasion of the Osun groove by cultists, “tarnish the international status of the festival”.

Addressing members of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, at Isale-Osun outside the groove, at a reception organised for him, Adams stressed the need for stakeholders to ensure adequate security for tourists and visitors to safeguard the sanctity of the spiritual festival.

He said; “It is unfortunate that cultists 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 renown globally and we must protect and project it to the whole world.

“Nothing must hinder the advancement of the festival and by extension Yoruba tradition.”

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