Masquerade invades church in Ekiti, smashes worshipper’s head

No, it was a robbery attack —Masquerade chief

There is tension in parts of Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, following allegations that a masquerade invaded St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Oke Ila, Ado Ekiti and allegedly broke the head of a worshipper with a broken bottle.

Vicar of the church, Reverend Zacchaeus Ibitoye, while speaking with newsmen on the development, decried the incident and described it as “sacrilegious and barbaric.”

Reverend Zacchaeus said they were in the church on the fateful day when one of their members, who was returning home after prayers, was chased back into the church premises by the masquerades and broke his head with a broken bottle.

He said: “This is sacrilegious and barbaric. We want the indigenes of Ado Ekiti to know that the town is home for everybody and not for the natives alone. We have reported the issue to the police and I think the boy who committed the offence has been arrested.

“We have also reported the case to the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Bishop Christopher Omotunde; the Ewi–in-Council and the Odogun of Ado Ekiti in particular, who they said was in charge of the masquerades and they all condemned the action.

“Our church leaders had met and we will meet today by 4:00p.m. to take a definite position on the matter before proceeding to Ewi’s palace where the suspect will be tried traditionally before other things shall follow.

“That was the first time we will be witnessing such attack and we wondered why a church that is supposed to be a place of refuge could be subjected to attacks by masquerades.”

The cleric said they took the victim to the hospital following the injury.

However, the Odogun of Ado Ekiti, Chief Obayemi Aladetoyinbo, who is the custodian of the masquerade called ‘Paragogo’ whose adherents had shaken the entire Ado Ekiti at the weekend, said the incident was either a robbery or cultists’ attack, saying it could not be a masquerade.

According to Aladetoyinbo, the incident occurred at about 5:00a.m. on a day preceding his festival and that it would be wrong to have fingered his people as being behind the alleged act.

Aladetoyinbo said “I have even taken time to report the activities of cultists during a meeting of Ado Ekiti Security Advisory Committee. I think they were responsible for the attack and this is condemnable.

“We invited the governor of our state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, to our festival and I don’t think we could invite the governor and at the same time be fomenting trouble.”

The incident, which occurred on Friday, was said to have accounted for why the state government and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, announced the suspension of the parade of masquerades in the state capital on Sunday.