Irele Business Owners Groan Amidst Rumours Of Human Sacrifice For King's Burial
Fear, anger and lamentations are very visible on the faces of motorists and business owners in Irele Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State.
This was in reaction to an alleged warning statement that originated from Irele's palace which prohibits anyone from moving around the town from 5pm daily for the next three weeks.
"This is to inform family and friends that from now till next three weeks, it is not safe to pass Irele main town to Agadagba-Obon, near Okitipupa in Ondo state from 5pm as the burial rites of the late king, Oba Claudius Olanrewaju Lebi, the Olofun of Irele Kingdom begins" the statement read in part.
However, the statement has aroused fear and anger in the minds of business owners whose sources of livelihood are derived from the region.
A motorist, who simply introduced himself as Ademulegun said he could not ply the route from Akure since he got the information.
"They said they needed 9 people for sacrifice. Either it is rumour or not, we all know the king is dead and they are making arrangement for his burial.
"Before any king can be buried especially in Yoruba land, there are certain sacrifices to be carried out. And that is why we cannot afford to downplay their warning.
"But it is really unfortunate that we are still experiencing this kind of tradition in this modern day.
"Now I can't do my transport business because there is no how I will go there in the morning and return before 5pm. I will have to wait and load my passengers before coming. That is the problem in our hand presently" hes stated.
Another motorist, Femi Ilori also confirmed the development.
"Since Monday that we heard the news, none of us has been going to the area. Most of our passengers are stranded here in our park. For me, I cannot risk my life because I'm not an indigene of the place. Even if I am, I can't still risk it."
A trader, Mrs. Tamilore Soyele, who trades in smoked fish also lamented her loss.
"I get my supply from Ode Irele but since the beginning of this week, I have not been able to get anything because of the ongoing burial rites in the area.
"I have lost almost all my customers because when they come and I tell them there is no fish, they go to other place. How many people will I explain to that I'm scared of traveling to market because of what is happening there?
"They said they need nine people for ritual but nobody knows how true it is. Either true or false, I have to stay away for now.
"But I think it is bad for government not to have said something about it since the information was released.
"Since Monday, a lot of money has been lost by business owners and transporters for this reason.
"Everybody is scared, and we are losing money for God's sake. They should do something about things like this to avoid its repeat."
However, a statement issued by the caretaker Chairman, Irele Local Government, Prince Gbadebo Odimayo did not dispel the news as rumour but only enjoined the people to go about their normal duties in the area.
"Ode-Irele is known for peace and hospitality, and its people are loving. We are interested in people coming to see the beauty of our town.
"We assure you that security is fully on ground to safeguard and secure all lives and properties" he said.
The burial ceremony of the late monarch is scheduled to fully commence on Thursday, May 24th.
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