Pandemonium broke out in Ile-Oluji, headquarters of the Ile-Oke-Igbo Local Government Area, Ondo State on Monday when youths who are natives of the town besieged the palace and chased away the monarch to protest his alleged refusal to allow the siting of a higher institution in the town.
As of the time of filing this report, the angry crowd under the aegis of National Association of Ile-Oluji Students had reportedly forced the monarch to seek refuge in the residence of one of his chiefs.
Attempts to speak with the monarch, the Jegun of Ile-Oluji, Oba Suulade Adedugbe, were not successful because security operatives had cordoned off entrances to his palace and prevented visitor from entering.
Some of the protesters, who declined to disclose their identifies, vowed not to leave the palace until they ensured that the monarch reversed his decision on the institution.
A source said, “We had it on good authorities that Adedugbe rejected an offer from the Federal Government to site a Federal Polytechnic in the town because of his belief that government may not be able to pay appropriate compensation to owners of economic trees on whose land the institution will be sited.”
One of the students said information at their disposal was that the monarch’s position had allegedly forced the Federal Government to consider the relocation of the institution to Idanre town.
However, a source within the palace denied the allegations of the angry students and insisted that it was not possible for the traditional ruler, who knows the value of education, to do such thing.
The source said, “I think the students are being misled by some people who had some scores to settle with the monarch.”
It was learnt that the protest, which began in the town as early as 9am at the main roundabout in the community later moved to the palace where the monarch was chased out.
Other allegations brought against the monarch included alleged diversion of money meant for the development of the community.
However, the embattled traditional ruler, who spoke through one of his chiefs, Adeoba, the Odofin of the community, described all the allegations levelled against him as blackmail.
When the Area Commander, Ondo Area Command, Alhaji Hamzat Ameyi, arrived place in company with other police officers, the protesters, who were initially peaceful, became unruly.
The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr. Wole Ogodo, however, said he had yet to be briefed about the development.