The palace of Salu of Edunabon, a town in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun State, on Wednesday was set ablaze by some youths protesting against the new monarch approved by the state government for the town.
The new monarch, Kehinde Oladepo, who left seclusion in the early hours of Wednesday, was reportedly abducted by the youths, but was later rescued by the police.
Many notable loyalists of the new monarch including Raphel Onifade, Seye Oyelade, one Baba Adashi and Adekola Onifade were seriously injured in the fracas.
A security source told PUNCH that about 10 people were seriously injured, as parties involved in the crisis clashed near the palace of Salu.
Oladepo, a policeman who hails from Amoloye compound in Isiboni ruling house, emerged the new Salu of Edunabon after the two warrant chiefs assigned by the state government unanimously voted for him, beating six other contestants to the stool.
However, Nasiru Adebayo, one of the six contestants that Oladepo defeated,came to the town a week after the new monarch began seclusion where he was undergoing traditional rites, brandishing a letter purportedly signed by the Ooni of Ife in his capacity as the consenting authority, declaring him the new Salu of Edunabon.
Also, upon his return to the town, Adebayo, it was also learnt, subsequently commenced seclusion and traditional rites.
It took heavy presence of armed men with Amoured Personnel Carriers, stationed near Salu’s palace to disperse the protesters yesterday.
Some residents living near Salu’s palace said the monarch approved by the Osun State Government (Oladepo), had left seclusion and was about entering the palace around 8am, when some youths stopped him.
When all entreaties to the youths, who claimed the process that produced Oladepo was invalid, failed, the monarch and others with him reportedly pulled down a part of the fence of the palace and gained entry.
An eyewitness, who identified himself as Olagunju Ezekiel, said, “because he forcefully entered the palace, those youths that were opposed to his candidature, set the palace on fire and waited for the monarch and his men outside the fence.
“A shopping complex in the front of the palace and offices inside the palace and the main building in the premises, were razed.”
When contacted, spokesperson for Osun Police Command, Folasade Odoro, said the number of people arrested could not be confirmed, adding that normalcy had been restored to the area.