*No casualty recorded, state government fingered
By Debo Adeoye, Ibadan
Unknown gunmen Monday stormed the Olubadan palace in Ibadan and fired several shots into the air to scare people before escaping through the Molete area of the city.
Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, was about to commence installation of new Mogajis (family heads) and Baales (Village Heads) when the gunmen in a white Previa bus numbering eight attacked the palace.
A former Secretary to Oyo State Government, Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli who is the Asaju Balogun Olubadan was ambushed as the assailants fired shots into his black jeep. He escaped unhurt.
The correspondent of THISDAY newspaper, Ademola Babalola, his Punch and Daily Trust counterparts, Olufemi Atoyebi and Jeremiah Oke also escaped death by the whiskers as they rammed into the indiscriminate shots being fired from close range by the hoodlums. The newly constructed drainage became their refuge for close to 15minutes when the sporadic shooting lasted. Two vehicles were badly damaged.
While the affected journalists sustained varying degrees of injuries, Oba Adetunji, the Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Asaju Balogun, Chief Sharafadeen Alli and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin who later witnessed the ceremony condemned the attackers which they blamed on the State government.
Alli who had similar attack in 2011 after the general elections as gunmen nearly snuffed life out of him in Ibadan, told newsmen that there was no cause for alarm in the latest development since he and his aides in the car escaped unhurt. He sued for peace in the land.
Ladoja said the attack was unconnected with the ongoing tussle on the recent elevation and enthronement of some Chiefs by Governor Abiola Ajimobi. He said government ought not to have resorted to violence if not pleased that Oba Adetunji, like few of them had headed to court to challenge the recent reforms.
He thereafter appealed to the people of Ibadanland to go about their lawful duties, assuring them that “the end is near for the reign of impunity in the state.”
The Spokesman of Authentic Ibadan Mogajis, Chief Wale Oladoja had earlier in the day told reporters that the ceremony was holding at Olubadan Palace following rumours that the state government had sent circulars to the palace to stop going ahead with the installation of new Chiefs.