According to a report by The PUNCH, there was a pandemonium at the Oke Aro area of Akure, Ondo State, on Thursday, as some youths suspected to be thugs attacked a vehicle conveying consumables and household materials during a traditional festival.
The Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, had earlier ordered the closure of shops and markets in order to observe the Aheregbe and Amole traditional festivals.
As the festivals were ongoing, it was gathered that the hoodlums attacked the bus, which was conveying foodstuffs and other household materials worth millions of naira, and carted them away.
The incident occurred at Bolajoko junction, in Oke-Aro, along the Idanre Road, Akure, and some of the items stolen are noodles, detergents, spaghetti and beverages among others.
An eyewitness stated that the suspected hoodlums, who claimed to be enforcing the age long tradition of the annual Aheregbe and Amole festivals, took away the three-year-old daughter of the driver of the bus, but later returned her after about two hours.
The eyewitness said, “They emptied the bus and also seized the three-year-old daughter of the driver of the bus after deflating the tyres. Their action caused confusion among motorists and residents of the community as people initially thought the boys were robbers.”
The driver of the bus, who identified himself as Festus, said he was taking his daughter to school with the bus when the attackers blocked him at Bolajoko junction and emptied his bus loaded with his company’s household products.
Festus stated, “I am a sales representative of my company; I was taking my daughter to school when some boys, who were on okada, started following me and asking me to stop. Initially I didn’t want to stop, but they were aiming at smashing the windscreen of the bus, so I stopped. They accused me of violating the market closure order. I told them I wasn’t selling but they didn’t listen.
“They took away almost all the company’s food items in the bus and took away my daughter. But later, they brought my daughter back to me.”
In a reaction, the Deji of Akure, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Michael Adeyeye, said the palace was not aware of the incident.
He said the palace did not send anyone to cause confusion in the community and warned the hoodlums against hijacking the peaceful festivals meant to give traders traditional holidays.