IBADAN – It was a big shock, yesterday, at the palace of Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana, when the most- dreaded masquerade, Oloolu, and its entourage besieged the monarch with injuries allegedly sustained in a fracas between them and men of the state security outfit, Operation Burst.
The melee, which started Tuesday, worsened, yesterday, leading to the arrest of no fewer than 20 followers of the masquerade.
The masquerade which dismissed reports that it had been killed, complained bitterly about ”unprovoked attack” by some Islamic scholars.
How Oloolu was unmasked
Some parts of Ibadan city were embroiled in crisis when some muslims who were observing the eighth day fidau prayer of a colleague, at Popoyemoja, advised the masquerade and its supporters not to come to the area because there were women there who the masquerade should not see, according to their belief.
But the masquerade and its adherents allegedly ignored the warning.
The trouble, which later spread to Idi-Arere and Beere, among others places on Wednesday night, generated much tension in the affected areas.
The leader of the Oloolu family, Chief Ojetunde Asoleke, who led the team to the Olubadan Palace, appealed to the monarch to prevail on the police and the personnel of Operation Burst to release 20 of their men arrested.
He claimed that the mask of Oloolu was seized and later released to them.
He said: “We feel saddened by the report that our man was killed as this was farther from the truth. No doubt, he was badly wounded as you can all see (showing the wounds sustained by the Oloolu on his arm and head), but was not killed.
”The costume seized by the men of Operation Burst has been retrieved and the festival would resume in earnest.”
They threatened to come out today, but were prevailed upon that it negated the normal tradition.