Soldiers have taken over the Ikare Akoko community in Ondo State over a leadership crisis that led to the destruction of cars and houses.
The recent crisis that began on Monday was the outcome of the cold war between two monarchs in the community, the Olukare and the Owa Ale.
Olukare of Ikare, Oba Oba Akadiri Saliu Momoh, had in January dethroned Chief Idowu Ogunye as Olokoja of Okoja, and appointed one Chief Sunday Bada as the new Olokoja.
Oba Momoh had cited absenteeism from meetings, disloyalty and refusal to obey his directives as reasons for dethroning Chief Ogunye.
The crisis that erupted in the community was over who has the right to summon a meeting of Okoja.
Chief Bada, in a statement, said he called the usual communal gathering as custodian of Okoja tradition and native law but hoodlums disrupted the meeting.
Bada, whose house was destroyed during the fracas, accused Chief Ogunye of causing trouble in the community since he was dethroned and also petitioned him to various security agencies.
He said Ogunye was advised to approach the court to fight his dethronement .
“On this note I call on well meaning indigenes of Okoja and Ikare to prevail on Baba Idowu Ogunye the dethroned Olokoja to stop bringing hoodlums and thugs to Okoja to allow peace to reign.
“Okoja is not Okorun and its purely lies and unfair on his part to link this issue with Olukare and OwaAle Obaship tussle,” he said
But Chief Ogunye, who denied hiring thugs to disrupt the town meeting, said the fracas was to cause mayhem ahead of the coronation of the new Owa Ale, Oba Adeleke Adedoyin.
Chief Ogunye said he was prepared to attend the town meetings when he heard there was fighting.
He insisted he remained the Olokoja of Okoja, saying the Olukare could not dethrone him as he was in office before the emergence of the present Olukare.
“That Bada is not our family member. He is a stranger. I am still alive and remained the Olokoja. Olukare did not appoint me and he cannot remove me.
“They even destroyed my house. They arranged all these crisis because of the Owa Ale coronation we are planning but we do not want anything to disrupt it. I did not bring any thug to Ikare,” he said.
Ondo Police spokesman, ASP Tee Leo Ikoro who confirmed the incident, said nobody has been killed in Ikare since Monday when the crisis started.
Ikoro said heavy security personnel has been deployed to strategic locations in the town.