There was unrest Friday at the 2023 grand finale of the Osun-Osogbo festival as suspected cultists paralysed activities during the festival.
Three people were confirmed dead and no fewer than 12 others were injured during the melee between the rival cults.
Some rival groups who were said to have had misunderstandings unleashed mayhem by brandishing cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.
The suspected cultists also attacked the office of Hunters and Forest Security Service at Asubiaro along the grove where they vandalised the office and injured some personnel.
The chairman of the hunter group, Ahmed Nureni, told journalists that three dead bodies were sighted around the grove while 10 members of the group were also injured.
“We sighted three dead bodies, though, we don’t know their identities. Meanwhile, our office in the Jaleyemi area was also vandalised and in the process, ten personnel were injured,” he said.
The Osun state governor, Ademola Adeleke, who addressed the tourists, described the festival as the “strongest heritage of the people,” assuring that his administration would use the Osun-Osogbo festival as a tool for state development.
He said, “This year’s celebration, therefore, provides the greatest opportunity ever for our people to have a new look at our culture and tradition. We are challenged to capitalise on our rich culture to build an economically sound and virile nation.
“As a government, our administration has a tourism and cultural industry agenda. During the campaign and within the transition committee, we devised far-reaching programs and policies for the arts, culture, and tourism industry. We indeed created a new holistic approach by adding the creative industry as a whole.”