Scores of traditional worshippers in Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government area of Ondo state on Monday took to the streets to protest against the recent alleged rape of two under-aged girls by five men in the town.
It will be recalled that five suspects, Bode Akinsiku, Olabanji Femi, Abiodun Ayodele, Fadairo Wahab, and Adedayo Adebayo, were alleged to have lured the two teenagers to the house of one of them located at Kogbona street in the town where they were raped.
The Hope gathered that the suspects after allegedly forcefully having carnal knowledge of the victims stripped them naked, tortured, videotaped them and later posted the same video on the Facebook and other social media.
The five suspects, were later arrested by the police and they were subsequently arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court in the town where they were remanded in the prison custody.
The traditional worshipers comprised of different groups, which included members of the Natural Traditional Medicine Practitioners, herbalists, Orunmila, Sango and Obaluaye worshippers.
Ogun devotees, members of the Reformed Ogboni Confraternity, and masquerades dressed in their different regalia and armed with different charms sang songs in Ondo dialect.
The traditionalists shortly before the commencement of the sealing off of the houses, had earlier converged on a traditional spot at Sora street in the town where they offered prayer and later filed in a procession to the street where the alleged rapping took place.
The traditionalists, who also included women later chased other occupants of the house out and used Palm fronts to seal the whole house after offering several prayers. They also locked the doors and windows and used some wooden materials to 'mark' the houses chanting incantations while performing the rites.
Similar rites were also performed at the residence of one of the suspects , Bode Akinsiku, located at Ebun-Oluwa street, in the town where the house was also sealed-off and 'marked' with fresh Palm fronts.
The Hope reliably gathered from a palace source in the town that the traditionalists decided to embark on the spiritual rites, following a rumour that the two teenage girls have been kidnapped by yet unknown persons and that the suspects will soon be freed.
The source further added that the spiritual appeasement was also to pray against those who were allegedly making all efforts and mounting pressure on the police in order to frustrate the case at the court.
The source added that the assemblage of the traditionalists, which came on the heel of recent happenings in the town, occasioned by the sudden increase in the number of rape cases and other social vices which occurred repeatedly in quick succession and have been a source of concern to inhabitants of the notable Yoruba town, necessitated the spiritual exercise.
"You see, if you watch the video, it is a taboo and abomination not only in Ondo town, but in the Yoruba race. We have been hearing several rumours concerning the matter, we don't want a repeat of such an ungodly act like this in our land"
The procession which caused gridlock as vehicular movement was disrupted for several hours .The exercise later came to a climax after series of rituals and prayers were rendered at the scene and other spots in the town.
Speaking on the development, one of the traditional chiefs in Ondo community, who did not want his name mentioned, commended the Osemawe -in-Council for approving the rituals and sealing-off of suspects houses, lauded the participants for their patriotism and love for the community.
He said that the video tape apart from going viral on the internet, the Osemawe-in-council had received several calls on the issue, which he said is not a good one for the image of the town.
He called on the judiciary and other stakeholders in charge of prosecuting the case to intensify actions that will make the accused persons face the wrath of the law. He also used the occasion to appeal to trouble makers to have a change of heart, so that the good name for which the community is known is not dragged the mud.
One of the traditionalists who also spoke under condition of anonymity, said the exercise was undertaken in order to compliment the efforts of the law enforcement agencies, in their bid at ensuring the safety of lives and property in the town.
He explained that their decision was also to forestall what he described as ungodly attitude among youths of the town.