NB247

It was rancour on Saturday in Oda Town, in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, as a section of the community held the newly appointed Regent hostage when she made efforts to reopen the Oda Market in a new location.

The main market had been closed following the passage of the Olojoda of Oda Julius Omomo, Okunbadejo II, in April in line with the tradition of the people.

A temporary location was to be opened on Saturday but disagreement on where it should be, delayed the return of traders to business in the town.

The market had been closed for four consecutive market days. The market is held every four days.

While the Regent in Council had given orders that the market opened at Emiloro community, a dissenting section of the town and their leaders claimed Oke Ile is the rightful location.

Although the Regent had arrived the early on Saturday to perform the opening rites in the market, the dissenting group had mobilized youths to disrupt the smooth take off of the market

Violence was almost erupting as the youths harassed traders who quickly packed their wares and ran from the market.

They also blocked the Regent from exiting the market and ensure her orders did not hold. She stayed back in her official vehicle and made calls while the uproar lasted.

The stalemate continued as the Regent and her council of chiefs maintained their stand to have the market at Emiloro.

It took the intervention of armed policemen to forestall a total breakdown of law and order.

A community leader in the town, Dele Adeyanju, said the Regent was in error to have opened the market at Emiloro.

“The practice is to take the market to Oke Ile, but we were surprised that she is insisting on having the market here,” he said.

“This place is narrow and heavy trucks used to pass through it, and that would endanger the lives of the people.”

However, another elderly woman in the community disagreed. The woman who identified herself as Bosede, said the Regent has the right to decide the place of the market and those who are opposed to her have other order hidden agendas.

“This fight is beyond what you are seeing with your eyes,” she said.

“They are opposed to her appointment as the Regent. They are saying she is not the direct daughter of the late Olojoda, but his younger sister.

“That is what they are really fighting and they are using the market as cover up.”

The police officials who came to the scene however would not talk to the press as they were not authorized to speak.

The leader of the team was seen warning the trouble makers to retrace their steps as they would not find it easy during a breach of the peace.

The market later settled for business as noon approached albeit with a handful of traders left.

The Regent and the police stayed back to keep the peace as the market continued through the day.

Some supporters of the palace promise to bring lightings to the market in the evening so traders could do business into the night since the market started late in the day.

There are fears that the youths might return to make trouble in the next market day, which is Wednesday next week, unless a truce is brokered between the factions.

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