The Oyo State correspondent of the Daily Trust, Jeremiah Oke, his PUNCH and THISDAY counterparts, Femi Atoyebi and Ademola Babalola, today narrowly escaped death when unknown gunmen in a white Previa Bus numbering eight attacked the palace of Olubadan of Ibadanland Oba Saliu Adetunji.
Also surviving the attack was a former Secretary to Oyo State Government and Asaju Balogun Olubadan, Chief Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli who was fired by the suspected assailants in his black Toyota jeep.
Cartridges and bullets were scattered on the floor in the front of the palace when the suspected gunmen left as residents around the palace were in panic.
The journalists were invited to cover the installation of new Mogajis (family heads) and Baales (Village Heads).
The three journalists were said to have escaped the sporadic shooting when they leapt into a newly constructed drainage as the hoodlums took over the entrance of the palace for close to 15 minutes.
While phones of the affected journalists were affected by the flowing water in the drainage as they sustained varying degrees of injuries, Oba Adetunji, the Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Asaju Balogun, Chief Sharafadeen Alli and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin who later witnessed the ceremony condemned the attackers which they blamed on the State Government.
Alli who had a similar attack in 2011 after the general elections as gunmen nearly snuffed life out of him in Ibadan, told newsmen that there was no cause for alarm in the latest development since himself and his aides in the car escaped unhurt. He sued for peace in the land.
Ladoja said the attack was unconnected with the ongoing tussle on the recent elevation and enthronement of some Chiefs by Governor Abiola Ajimobi. He said government ought not to have resorted to violence if not pleased that Oba Adetunji, like few of them had headed to court to challenge the recent reforms.
He thereafter appealed to the people of Ibadanland to go about their lawful duties, assuring them that “the end is near for the reign of impunity in the state.”
The Spokesman of Authentic Ibadan Mogajis, Chief Wale Oladoja had earlier in the day told reporters that the ceremony was holding at Olubadan Palace following rumours that the state government had sent circulars to the palace to stop going ahead with the installation of new chiefs. (Daily Trust)