Angry women in Emure Ekiti stripped half naked on Saturday to protest against the arrest of over 30 of their children by the police in connection with the alleged attempt to burn the palace of Elemure of Emure Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo.
The women, with leaves in their hands, marched the streets and sang hate songs against the monarch, demanding the release of their children.
Trouble started last Monday, when a group of angry youths of the community took to the streets to protest against power cut by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.
They also complained about the disruption of banking service from the only bank in the community for over seven months.
A resident, Olaoye Olayinka, said efforts by Adebayo to stop the protest were ignored by the youths who blocked the two entry points to the town.
“For the past seven months, we hardly have electricity and when they bring it, it was only in the midnight.
“Why this treatment from the electricity firm is painful is because, of all Ekiti communities, Emure pays the highest bill. We are not enjoying electricity and instead, we get crazy bills.
“The electricity firm slams us with N8,000, N6,000 and N7,000 bills for each household. For artisans like welders, each of them get N15,000 a month. It’s ridiculous,” Olayinka said.
The Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, had said the youths were arrested for attempting to burn the king’s palace and for attacking the police station in the town.
“The Emure people protested against BEDC for disconnecting their electricity. What we disagreed with was the mode of protest. They became very violent and attacked the palace and the police station. We moved in and succeeded in quelling the violence. The area is calm now.
“We are screening those arrested and we have released some of them on bail.
“We are also looking at the case of arson which is not bailable because the palace was nearly set on fire.”