By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Following the eruption of the violent clash between the people of Ikale (Ago-Alaye) of Okitipupa local government and Araromi-Obu in Odigbo local government areas of Ondo state which resulted in loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties over land dispute, the people of Araromi-Obu community have lauded the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on his move towards finding lasting solution to the crisis.
Addressing journalists at a press conference over the weekend, Senator Omololu Meroyi who spoke on behalf of the Araromi-Obu Development Council (ADC), accused the Ikales of distorting historical facts as regards the real owners of the disputed land.
It would be recalled that the traditional rulers and community leaders in Ikale land last week alleged Governor Akeredolu of being biased and unfair in handling the crisis.
The Jagunmolu of Ikale land and a retired Army General, Oluyemi Bajowa who spoke on behalf of the Abodi of Ikale land and other traditional rulers during the press conference accused the Akeredolu of forming his opinion about the crisis before visiting the two communities, tagging the Ikale as aggressors.
But Araromi-Obu Development Council (ADC), said, “It is imperative to inform the public that contrary to the deliberate falsehood, untruth, half truth and sophistry being peddled by General Bajowa and his cohorts, Araromi-Obu has been in existence for over 500 years with the present Ajobu, Oba Aderemi Adelola as the 18th occupant of the throne of the ancient town.
“It is therefore shocking that inspite of avalanche of documentary evidence freely signed by the Ikales as tenants of our forefathers spanning over a century, they could turn round to assert that Araromi-Obu people are settlers in their own land.
“We are satisfied with the fatherly role which Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has displayed as an arbiter in the conflict in the conflict and urged him not to be deterred by the antics and outburst of belligerent individuals like General Oluyemi Bajowa (rtd) whose stock in trade is to benefit from the misfortune of the hapless indigenes of Araromi-Obu.
“It is on record that in order to prevent the outbreak of hostilities, several peace meetings were initiated by the Ondo State government, the Police and the Directorate of Security Services all of which were attended by the Ajobu and his people but surprisingly shunned by the Abodi of Ikale without genuine reasons.
“We gathered from credible sources that the Ikales hooligans were being sponsored by the Abodi of Ikale and General Bajowa (rtd) from selfish economic benefits, their intentions being to turn the Rubber Estate Nigeria Limited to their cash crow.
“It is therefore not a surprise to discover that following the judgment both the Abodi and General Bajowa have written several letters to the Araromi Rubber Estate Limited demanding monetary gratification.”
Also, Senator Meroyi alleged that the call for truce and peaceful resolution to the crisis from their own part as well from the state government and security agencies, had on several occasions been snubbed by the Ikales.
For the past three weeks, Ago-Alaye has been the focal point of clashes between the people of Araromi-Obu in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state their Ikale neighbour in Okitipupa local government over the ownership of land tussle after an Ondo State High Court ruling in favour of the Ikales as the real owners of the disputed land.
It would be recalled that the unrest subsequently led to the 24-hour curfew order placed on the community by Governor Akeredolu on July 17 in order to prevent the continued breakdown of law and order in the community.
However, Governor Akeredolu has constituted a five member Panel of Inquiry to look into the crisis.
The members are as follows:
Tunde Atere, Esq. Chairman
Pastor Olaitan Adigun. Member
Pharm. Funmilayo Osundolire. Member
Mr. Seinde Omokoba. Member
Tunbosun Aganun. Member
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Boluwaduro Kunle Sanni will serve as Secretary of the Panel.
The Araromi-Obu Development Council (ADC), however described the constitution of panel of enquiry set up by the governor to ascertain the causes of the crisis and the way forward as welcome development.
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