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Osun Osogbo: Suspected cultists’ clash claims 3 lives at Osun Osogbo Festival. By John Dike

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Three persons were reported to have feared dead during a clash that occurred between two rival cult groups in Osogbo, Osun State capital on Friday.

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Our correspondent gathered that the clash occurred during the grand finale of this year 2023 Osun Osogbo festival.

The incident, it was learnt, threw Osun traditional festival and tourists into panic as people were scampering for their safety.

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The cause of the clash was still sketchy as at the time of filing this report.

However, ten operatives of the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Service were wounded by the hoodlums during the clash.

The suspected cultists also vandalized the NHFS office close to the scene of the incident.

Confirming the incident, Mr Hammed Nureni, the State Commandant of Nigeria Hunter and Forest Security Service in Osun said no fewer than three persons were dropped in the clash that ensued between the suspected cultists.

“We counted three dead bodies. After the incident that happened at the groove, the hoodlums proceeded to our office and get it vandalized.

‘Ten of our men were alo wounded”, he concluded.

Meanwhile, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubalan and National Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Iba Gani Adams condemned the unfortunate incident.

Adams who spoke shortly after the festival said: “It is unfortunate that cultists and miscreants have taken advantage of the hospitality of the festival to create a platform for cult rivalry which Osun goddess abhors and we must collectively stop the trend.

“This is an opportunity for Osun and Nigeria to attract tourism development.

“Osun-Osogbo is renowned globally and we must protect and project it to the whole world. Nothing must truncate the advancement of the festival and by extension Yoruba tradition”, he said.

Earlier, the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke had restated the commitment of his administration to tourist development.

Adeleke 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 programmes and policies for the arts, culture and tourism industry.

“We indeed created a new holistic approach by adding the creative industry as a whole”.

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