Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Gunmen in a white Previa Bus numbering about eight on Monday attacked the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland as Oba Saliu Adetunji was about to commence the installation of new Mogajis (family heads) and Baales (village heads).
A former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli, who is the Asaju Balogun Olubadan was ambushed as the assailants fired shots into his black Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). He escaped unhurt.
The Correspondent of THISDAY, 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.
A newly constructed drainage in the city became their refuge for close to 15 minutes that the sporadic shooting lasted.
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 election when gunmen nearly snuffed life out of him in Ibadan, told journalists 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 â€œthe end is near for the reign of impunity in the state.â€
The spokesman of the Authentic Ibadan Mogajis, Chief Wale Oladoja, had earlier in the day told journalists that the ceremony would hold at Olubadan Palace following rumours that the state government had sent circulars to the palace to stop the ceremony of the installation of new chiefs.