Economic and social activities in Akure, the capital of Ondo state, were blocked Thursday as shops and stores were closed for the traditional annual Amole festival in the city.

Akure’s traditional chief, Deji d’Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, had ordered the closure of all shops and markets in Akure metropolis and its surroundings.

Nigerian Tribune observed that only banks, government offices and gas stations opened as most of the streets in the state capital were deserted.

While there was movement around the city, most of the traditional markets, like Oja Oba,
Erekesan, Odo Ikoyi, Isolo, Isikan, Oba ile and Arakale, were deserted in accordance with the directive of the traditional chief.

Meanwhile, some thugs moving around the city took advantage of the closure to attack a few traders who flouted the directive.

In the Bolajoko neighborhood of Oke-Aro, along the Idanre road, thugs blocked the road and looted a bus loaded with food and other household items.

An eyewitness from the area said all the goods were taken away by the thugs causing confusion in the area as some of the residents rushed out.

Eyewitnesses said that in addition to looting the bus, the thugs kidnapped the sales representative’s three-year-old daughter and the thug deflated the tires on her car.

The sales representative explained that he was taking his daughter to school when the incident happened and the thugs blocked him and emptied all the goods into the vehicle.

He said he is not selling today as a sign of respect for the festival which prohibits the opening of shops, markets, buying and selling.

After two hours, cheerful people from the area followed the boys and were able to unite the little girl with her father.

Contacted about the incident, Deji of Akure spokesman Mr. Michael Adeyeye said the palace was not aware of the incident.

He promised that an appropriate investigation would be carried out to unmask the perpetrator of the necessary traditional actions.

Akure’s Deji Palace had informed residents on Wednesday that all Akure markets, shops and stores would be closed today.

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