Residents of Ilobu in Irepodun local Government area of Osun have decried alleged invasion and destruction of their farmland by hoodlums suspected to be working for Ifon-Orolu community.
The Ilobu-Asake indigenes however called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the attacks and destruction of their farms weeks after the peace accords by the two warring communities.
The worried residents of the town thronged the major streets in the town to protest against what they described as perpetual attack on the people of the town by some indigenes Ifon community.
They specifically accused the Secretary, Ifon Orolu Descendants Board of Trustees, Prince Jide Akinyooye for being the brain behind the attacks.
Recall that the two neighbouring towns, located in Orolu and Irepodun Local Government Areas, have been at loggerheads over land dispute for years, but the crisis rekindled in September/ October, this year, where several people were killed and properties destroyed.
The two warring communities on October 2023 were made to signed a peace agreement brokered by the state government after weeks of violence and tension in the town.
Addressing journalists shortly after the protest, the Public Relations Officer, Ilobu Asake Development Union, Tairu Babatunde called for intervention of Governor Ademola Adeleke before the issue gets out of the hand
Babatunde alleged that some of their people whose farmland were located around Oloso, Idi-Iriko, Owode and several other villages in Ifon and Oyo State were destroyed.
He also alleged that their people were beaten, dehumanized and harassed by Ifon people and that their farm product were taken by them.
Echoing a similar views, one of the affected villagers, Bashiru Adegbenro said “the people of Ifon on 4th October came to attack us and we are not on their farm we farming on Oyo Land. When they came they asked us to vacate the land, that they have taken over our farm.
Despite the peace accord that we both signed they invaded our farms and cut down our farm produces. After taking away our farm produces such as yam, cassava, cola nuts among others, they went ahead to burnt down our farm.
Our farms is on the land of Oyo not Ifon those that attacked us are Eesa of Ifon,Jide Akinyooye, Sunday Odeyemi among others. They have burnt everything in that land and even removed the roof and sold.
“The state government should come to our rescue, to eat now is very difficult for us and our children are no longer going to school because there is nothing to eat please help us Ifon has taken over our source of income .
“Those men armed with gun asked us to leave or they will shoot us immediately I have to beg them to allow me took my remaining yam but before I could say anything further they starting shooting in the air while I was about leaving they beat me .
Also Speaking , Olawoye Wakeem said ” I went to my farm along Owode road on Saturday to uproot my left over potatoes that I was unable to take since the war began after taking the potatoes I was close to Ifon when I saw some bikes men coming in numbers asking me to stop I asked them why they are stopping me , they said “Haven’t we warned you not to step on Ifon land again I said I didn’t know then they asked me to go to Eesa I passed through Oloru grammar school before I could reach there they use stick to hit me all over my body. i only escaped with one bag of potatoes the remaining one were still there. My bike were destroyed.
Another one, Munibi Oladapo who said his own farm was in Ifon explained that he was attacked while uprooting his remaining yam on the farm.
He said he went to the farm with press and others in the village to get the yam but was surprised to see some men with guns who asked him and the press to vacate the place in two minute or they will be shoot .
Reacting to the allegations, Secretary, Ifon Orolu Descendants Board of Trustees, Prince Jide Akinyooye debunked the allegations.
Akinyooye said: “Nobody prevented them from going to their farms. They are the one that went to the court in Oyo state for malicious damage
“They are afraid of going back to the farm after the battle”, he said
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