Following the communal clash between Ilobu/Ifon communities of Osun State in the past few hours, the death toll have risen to eight, as armed soldiers are now being put on red alert to ensure orderliness and safety of people in the two communities.
While speaking at the first interactive session with the people of the state tagged, “Ipade Imole”, in Osogbo, the State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has directed a joint military task force of a combined team of State Security Service operatives, officers of the Nigeria Security And Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and both mobile and conventional police officers had been drafted to the scene to maintain peace in the communities.
Adeleke further said he has summoned leaders of the two communities to his office later in the day to put a stop to the spate of killings and other destructive acts, described the killings in the towns as senseless. He also passed a strong warning to the leaders of the affected communities to maintain peace and order.
According to him; “I’m not happy with the development in Ilobu and Ifon. I was there this morning before coming around and I told the leaders that I’m not happy with their conduct. Why will you be killing people because of lands? This is very bad. I want to state it categorically that, the government has taken over the disputed lands,” he asked.
The governor however warned perpetrators of the inhuman acts to desist from engaging in further unholy acts saying, anyone caught amongst them would be made to face the wrath of the law.
“Anybody who wants to cause mayhem, I am warning them right now to be careful. If it is sabotaged, it will not work at all. These clashes are not helping anyone but rather chasing investors away to other states. It is sad that lives are being lost daily over what belongs to God and not man,” he added.
Adeleke called on the chiefs, community leaders, and kings to call their subjects to order.
“A military deployment will be punitive to both communities who have failed to allow for peaceful resolution of the problem on the ground. Henceforth, I will not condone these senseless killings. The state government has taken over the disputed lands in the area and anyone seen there should be dealt with appropriately,” he emphasised.
While speaking on the number of casualties recorded so far, Adegoke Ogunsola, the Otun Jagun of Ilobu in a press conference, confirmed that, four persons’ lives were claimed in the town while investigations into Ifon community revealed that, while the remaining four casualties recorded in Ifon.
Also, it was further revealed that a Divisional Police Officer alongside three other policemen were shot while their patrol van was razed.
Speaking on the matter, the Police Spokesperson, Osun State Command, Yemisi Opalola confirmed that the DPO of Ilobu was among the four officers who were shot during the clash.
She said, “They burnt a new patrol van of police yesterday. They accused us of taking sides, it is unfortunate that the monitoring section van that was donated to us was burnt. Our four men are in hospital now, they were shot. The Divisional police officer of Ilobu was among those who were shot, he was shot on his hand but thanks to God, they are all responding to treatment. They ambushed policemen when our men attempted to broker peace in the area.”
Meanwhile, in a press conference, Comrade Jide Akinyooye, Secretary, Ifon Orolu Board Of Trustees frowned at the “I don’t care attitude of the police when the matter became aggravated on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
He said only 16 policemen were dispatched to the two communities to maintain peace during the fracas and that, the deployed police officers kept their distance throughout their stay there.(Tribune)