Nigeria: Modakeke Riot: 10 Killed, Monarch’s Palace Razed

By Ademola Adeyemo, 15 May 2003

Osogbo — No fewer than 10 persons were yesterday killed during a bloody riot in Modakeke town, Osun State between members of the Road Transport Workers Union (NURTW) and members of the commercial motorcyclists okada over the collection of operation fees.

During the riot that lasted for several hours, the palace of the Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Francis Adedoyin, was razed down by the angry rioters over reports that he allegedly took sides in the crisis.

Also yesterday, goods worth millions of naira were destroyed as the violence clash spread to commercial areas of the town.

However, 12 persons have been arrested by the police in connection with the bloody clash.

The whereabout of Oba Adedoyin was still unknown as at last night.

An eye-witness account informed THISDAY that the bloody clash was a follow up to the crisis between the NURTW officials led by one Sule Atetebi and the motorcyclists over the decision of the Okada operators to remain autonomous as well as the insistence of the (NURTW) to control the Okada riders union.

The crisis, which began some months ago led to the forceful ejection of Atetebi from Modakeke town by the Okada riders, who were in the majority.

However, trouble started yesterday when Atetebi staged a come back to the town.

His return was violently resisted by the okada operators and in the melee, 10 persons were killed.

According to a member of the Okada riders, Mr Tiamiyu Kolawole, people decided to vent their anger on the palace due to Oba Adedoyin’s support for NURTW.

Social and commercial activities were also paralysed in the town yesterday as residents fled into safety.

Several houses were also set ablaze by the rioters in the town which was recovering from the destruction that followed its war with Ile Ife.

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