Babatope Okeowo reports that suspected cultists have taken over Ode-Erinje, a community in Ondo South senatorial district. This development has sent fears into the minds of residents of the sleepy community
Sleeping with one eye is an understatement in Ode-Erinje kingdom in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State as cultists have taken over the town maiming, stealing, raping and killing innocent citizens in the communities comprising the kingdom.
The sleepy town of Ode – Erinje under Okitipupa local government of Ondo State comprises of other villages like Obonde, Odolawe, Igedegese.
These villages have village heads under the Orungberuwa of Erinje, the king. Not until recently that Igodan-Lisa was granted Obaship status, it was part of Ode-Erinje kingdom and the Orungberuwa was customarily appointing the Chief Head for the community.
While other parts of the state have to complain over incessant attacks by bandits masquerading as Fulani herdsmen, Ode-Erinje kingdom under the leadership of Oba Adekoye Ipinsanmi Emmanuel who has been acting as Regent after the demise of Oba S.A.O Akinlalu five years ago has been having a nightmare over the incessant attacks of cultists.
Before now, Ode Erinje did not rely on any law enforcement agents or vigilance groups for protection, they relied on nature’s defence, a swarm of bees which according to history, had helped them in the past during communal war and based on the historical record, they have mystical power on how to summon the swarm of bees to help them fight the enemies whenever the need arises.
According to Oral history, it was part of what their forefathers and ancestors inherited in the ancient days and passed down from one generation to the other.
But this natural defence is nowhere to be found or proved ineffective as suspected cultists have taken over the communities comprising of Ode-Erinje. They unleashed terror on the citizens making them call on government and security agencies to come to their aid. In a Save our Soul (SOS), the Erinje Community cried for help over insecurity, social vices, and wrote the Police to help them curb the violent crimes rampant in their communities.
“Our community is now a den of criminals where stealing, raping and cultism have become the order of the day”, the community said in a letter to the Police.
They called on Security Agencies in the State for urgent help over the spate of insecurity and social vices ravaging the town. In a letter addressed to the Divisional Police Officer of Okitipupa Local Government and signed by traditional chiefs and stakeholders led by the regent of the town, His Royal Majesty, Adekoye Ipinsanmi Emmanuel, the Community leaders said some hoodlums have highjacked the town, thereby turning the community to a den of criminals where stealing, raping and cultism have become the order of the day.
The letter was signed by Adekoye Ipinsanmi Emmanuel, the Regent of Erinje Kingdom, High Chief Adewole Obamomoye, the Odofin of Erinje Kingdom, High Chief Ayodele Seja, the Holo Akoko of Ode Erinje and High Chief Taiwo Balogun, the Lema of Erinje Kingdom.
Signatories to the petition which was addressed to the state government included Chief Akinbolade Kayode, the Ayadi of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Anthony Aderehinwo, the Ojan of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Martins Olajorin, the Oshogbon of Erinje Kingdom and Chief Daniken Adeyemi, the Basorun of Erinje Kingdom. Other included Chief Sunday Funmilayo, the Ojajune of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Ayeegbe Ademuwagun, the Tobalase of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Akinbami Oyeyemi, the Akinbami of Erinje Kingdom, Dr Dapo Iwala, the Otunba of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Oladipupo Akinmola, the Ojimu of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Ayetomowo Akindutire, the Anigilaje of Erinje Kingdom, Chief Abiodun Ilesanmi, the Akatakun of Erinje Kingdom, S.B Erinsakin, John Ogwamoboye, and Hon. Adeluwoye Temitope.”
The community said “We write as concerned indigenes of Erinje Community to vehemently register our displeasure over the rampaging criminal activities which have overtaken our erstwhile peaceful community.
“Before now, Erinje Community has been known for her relative peace which most of the neighbouring communities have been emulating, not until recently when some hoodlums have highjacked our community, thereby turning our town to a den of criminals even to the dislike of average peaceful indigenes and outsiders.
“It has become an order of the day at Ode Erinje that an innocent lady or even a mar ried woman can just be accosted along the road, stripped naked and raped by hoodlums. Not only that, stealing is no longer a crime at Ode Erinje, it has become the order of the day.”
“Apart from the vandalism and cultism, all sorts of social vices cannot be overemphasised. Hence our coming together as representatives and stakeholders of the town to seek the assistance of the Law Enforcement agencies to help restore the perennial peace the town is known for.”
“Your timely intervention is needed in putting the community back to its normal and usual peaceful status.” “We are ready to work with your team to fish out these hoodlums and this we shall do without fear or favour.”
The community said the cultists have become daring that they attached members of the Amotekun Corps and security agencies. They asked the government to reinforce security in the town for them to sleep with their eyes closed unlike what is obtainable now.