Akure the capital of Ondo State, has remained grounded since Tuesday following a clash between Igbo indigenes and Akure youths.
The Akure youths accused the Igbos of disrespecting their monarch, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo.
This followed the alleged refusal of the Igbos to obey the instruction giving by the monarch.
A palace source disclosed that trouble started between the Deji and Igbo residents, following the installation of an Igbo man as the chairman of one of the markets in Akure by the Eze-Ndigbo.
Oba Aladetoyinbo was said to have been angry, having felt that it was a taboo for an Igbo man to rule over a market in Akure.
It was gathered that the Akure monarch immediately summoned Iloehike but that to his surprise, the Eze-Ndigbo wore his crown to the Deji’s palace, an action said to be against the tradition of Akure.
Irked by his attitude and responses to allegations leveled against him, the Chiefs and some youths who were in the palace ordered him to remove his crown.
Deji of Akure was said to have suspended him from parading himself as Eze-Ndigbo.
This development sent a wrong signal to the Igbo residents, who mobilized themselves to the palace, ordering the Deji to reverse his earlier statement on Iloehike.
But they were unlucky as Akure youths flogged them out of the palace.
Since the incident occurred on Tuesday, the Igbos, who dominate the Oba-Adesida road have refused to open for business.
Rather, on Wednesday morning, they converged on their secretariat located at Gbogi Street, Akure as early as 7.00am and warned the Akure monarch against his plan to dethrone the Eze Ndigbo.
They insisted that the traditional ruler had no power to dethrone Iloehike.
The embattled Eze Ndigbo explained that he had not been rude to the Deji of Akure since he ascended the throne about six months ago, adding that he contributed immensely to the installation of the monarch.
According to him “the Deji called me around 8.48pm last sunday inviting me to his palace and I honoured his invitation on monday morning. I went with one of my Chiefs, but when I got to the palace, I saw youths numbering over 200 who started shouting as I entered. I suspected that the youths were mobilized by the monarch and I showed respect to the Deji by prostrating for him.
“The monarch while addressing me at his palace threatened to drive all the Igbos in Akure out of the city and when I asked for the offence my people committed, the youths at the palace descended on me. They tore my beads and removed my crown. They attempted to beat me but the Police officers at the Palace rescued me.”
The Eze Ndigbo said the invitation by the monarch was the first he would receive from him since the monarch ascended the throne, pointing out that Igbos had been living harmoniously in Akure for over 70 years without friction with the natives.
The spokesman for the Deji-in-Council who is the Asamo of Akureland, High Chief Olusanya was not in his palace for comments.
He also could not pick calls made to him by our correspondent.