…five houses burnt, eight injured
Traditional ruler of Araromi-Obu, Oba Aderemi Adelola, has escaped being killed by hoodlums who attacked his convoy while returning from Akure, the Ondo State capital.
While Adelola was lucky to escape, two residents of Ago-Alaye were killed.
Reacting to the crisis, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu yesterday ordered the imposition of a 24-hour curfew on Ago-Alaye.
The first class monarch, according to residents, escaped death by a whisker as his vehicle and the backup car were attacked by hoodlums, laying claim to the land in the community.
The President of Araromi-Obu Development Union, Senator Omololu Meroyi, said yesterday that two people were killed, eight persons injured while five houses were burnt at Ago-Alaye, a community in Odigbo Local Government Area.
Meroyi, who was with Prince Olu Falolu, Bisoye Monebi and Taiwo Adedimeji, said the Araromi-Obu people had been under severe attack by their Ikale neighbours over the judgement of an Akure High Court that ceded part of their land to Ikale people.
He said: “Our experiences have been bitter in the last two weeks. Some people want to drive us away from our land. These people were born in Araromi-Obu, they lived with us and never claimed to be landlords.
“There is a court judgement that ceded our land to Ikale people. Rather than wait for the law to take its course, these people have taken laws into their hands.
“We will not cede an inch of our land to anybody. We are ready to defend our land with our blood. Local government people can no longer work. They invaded our land and prevented our people from going to farm. We are being suppressed in our land.
“It is not that we cannot fight back, but we did not want to contribute to the security challenges in the country. We appeal to men of goodwill to come to our aid before the situation gets out of hand.
“The monarch of Araromi-Obu is the 18th Ajobu of Araromi-Obu. There is nowhere in history it was said that the Ikale people came to install monarch on our land. We cannot allow this kind of brutalisation to continue.”
In his contribution, a former Chairman of Odigbo Local Government, Prince Olu Falolu, said the judgement had been appealed against while a stay of execution had also been filed at the appellate court.
He said: “We have appealed the judgement. On a daily basis, they have been tapping rubber, catting away farm produce and harassing the farmers. We have notified e government, the Commissioner of Police, security services. Yet they did not stop brutalisation of our people.
“Yesterday, they invaded our land, some are dead, many were injured. They went to Ago-Alaye and started burning houses of Araromi people.
“We are no cowards, but civilised people. If our patience is exhausted, we will be forced to take laws into our hands.”
However, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, said the situation had been brought under control.
The PPRO said mobile policemen and conventional policemen from the Okitipupa Area Command had been drafted to the area to maintain peace.
He said: “I am aware that they are fighting but we have drafted our men to the area to restore normalcy. Some people have been arrested by our men in connection with the crisis.”
Meanwhile, the curfew on Ago-Alaye came on the heels of preliminary reports received in the wake of the violent clash which resulted in the loss of lives and property.
According to government, the curfew was in the overall interest of the inhabitants of the area as well as adjoining towns and villages.
The governor said the need to prevent the unfortunate incident from escalating also reinforced this action.