THE deaths in a remote community of Irele in Irele local government area of Ondo State were attributed to the action of six boys who broke into the shrine of Molokun, the deity of the people and desecrated it by stealing artifacts and sacred objects.
It was gathered that the potency of the god of the community was tested when the thieves unveiled the ” Agogo Ide”, one of the sacred objects in the shrine covered with white apron.
A source said even the worshipers and traditionalists in charge of the shrine do not look at the sacred object with naked eyes.
“The Agogo Ide is never seen by anybody . But those who broke into the shrine unveiled the sacred object and this is an abomination hence the deaths in the community,” the source said.
“Until the god is appeased, the deaths will continue. But the chief priest and traditionalists have consulted and asked women to appease the Malokun by pouring buckets of water in front of the shrine.”
It was learnt that the boys underrated the god of the land and, like lightening, it struck, leaving many persons dead.
The thieves reportedly moved the sacred objects from the shrine and sold them to a man who resold it to some foreigners.
Reports had it that those who shared from the proceeds of the sales and who they gave the money to in exchange for goods and services died in turns.
gathered that the Malokun shrine was broken into by the boys after they had protected themselves through the help of a herbalist outside the community.
At the last count, about 30 persons, between ages 25 and 40, died horrible deaths because of their alleged connection to the abomination.
Those who died as a result of the alleged abomination were said to have been initially afflicted with blindness, elongation of tongues and unconsciousness.
The perpetrators, it was learnt, shared N100,000 each from the proceeds after which they reportedly went on spending spree in the community.
The news of the desecration of the shrine was said to have been relayed to the traditional ruler of the town who invited the chief priest and other traditionalists to conduct a fact-finding visit to the shrine.
The breakage into the shrine was said to have been the first of its kind in the history of the community.
But Ondo State government linked the deaths to an outbreak of a strange disease.
Already, the state government and the World Health Organization have sent representatives to the community.
The Ondo government deployed the Personnel Protective Equipment purchased during recent Ebola scare in the country to the area with their handlers.
The state Health Commissioner, Dr Dayo Adeyanju, who led government delegation to Irele, said the reason given by the natives that the deaths resulted from the desecration of a shrine in the town could not be scientifically proved.
Adeyanju confirmed that 12 persons died on the day the incident happened.
According to the Commissioner, the “presentation from the investigations carried out on the victims did not reveal symptoms of the dreaded Ebola disease.”
He said the state government had moved into the area to curtail the spread of the strange disease.
The preliminary report, Adeyanju said, showed that the victims complained of headache and later lost their sight before they finally gave up.