Inside Osun: Ifon, Ilobu On The New Phase Of Clash

By Bright Gbotemi

This is a follow-up reports, as the two communities located in Orolu and Irepodun local government areas of Osun State have consistently embarked on give and take with the use of the media.

According to reports, on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 the Ilobu-Asake Development Union alleged that despite the peace accord signed with the State government, the people of Ifon-Osun have continued to attack and destroy properties of Ilobu indigenes.

This is just as some Ilobu indigenes protested what they called renewed attack on their farmlands by some hoodlums believed to be from Ifon community.

The protesters who were farmers said the hoodlums set their houses ablaze, bus and asked them to vacate the land.

According to the protesters, the hoodlums suspected to be Ifon indigenes have destroyed their farmlands and carted away their farm produce.

Armed with placards with inscriptions such as; “We call for justice”, “ We farm on Oyo land not Ifon-Osun”, Save Our Soul”, Our means of livelihood is at stake,” the farmers said their farmlands belongs to Oyo State and not Ifon community.

Mr Basiru Adegbenro who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said:
“Since the 4th of October, the people of Ifon have been attacking us on our farms at Abebi, Ologele, Oloso, Idi-Iroko, Baara villages and so on.

We were not farming on their land. The land we are occupying currently belongs to Oyo state.

“They have destroyed our farmlands and taken away our farm produce. They also burnt our houses.

“We don’t have anything to rely on again. We did not know what we did to them to warrant this action.

“We want the State Government to come to our rescue. Our children could no longer go to school. Our properties have been taken over by Ifon people.”

In his submission, Olawoyin Wakili, who claimed to have been attacked by Ifon people last week Saturday, said he was coming back from his farm around Owode village when he was waylaid by the hoodlums.

He said the hoodlums claimed Ilobu people have been warned not to step on Ifon land again.

“I went to my farm along Owode Road last on Saturday to pick the remaining potatoes on my farm. On my way back, I was about to enter Ifon town when I saw five people on motorcycles flagging me down.

“I asked what the problem was and they told me they had announced that any Ilobu indigene should not come near Ifon land again. I told them I didn’t hear about that. They said I have to see the Eesa of Ifon.

OTHER NEWS   EndSARS Anniversary: Police Warn Against Protest In Osun

“I ignored them and started my bike. I was about to get to Orolu Grammar School when I saw that they had laid an ambush for me. I was beaten mercilessly with cutlass.

“They destroyed my farm produce that worth over N500,000 and since the incident happened, my friends have been the ones helping me. Survival has been hard”, he narrated.

The IDU called on the State Government to continue engaging the two communities on the need to sustain the peace.

IDU lamented that no engagement has been held since October 6 when the peace deal was signed.

The National Public Relations Officer of IDU, Mr Tairu Babatunde, made the call at a press briefing on Wednesday.

The union accused the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor Ademola Adeleke on Security, Mr Adekunle Omoyele, of siding with the Ifon people.

IDU said: “It is, however, disheartening and shocking that despite this olive branch extended by the people of Ilobu to our neighbours, most particularly, the people of Ifon-Osun, what we receive is more attacks, dehumanisation, destruction of properties and harassment of our people. This is very sad.

“Since the ceasefire was declared, our people who are plying their trades in villages such as Oloso, Idi-Iroko, Owode and several other villages in Oyo State have not been allowed to witness peace. It has been attacks over attacks, harassment and torture. We believe this must stop.

“We call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of everyone mentioned, including Jide Akinyooye and the Eesa of Ifon, Babatunde Oyetunji.

“We want to advise the State Government that peace building is a process and not an action, we want them to continue engagement as no engagement has been held since October 6 when the peace deal was signed.

“We also want the agents of the government, particularly, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Adekunle Omoyele, to stop acting like an agent of Ifon people.”

Reaction

Upon the allegations, the Ifon-Orolu Progressive Union (IPU) accused the Ilobu people of trying to cede a land belonging to Osun State to Surulere Local Government area of Oyo State in a bid to frustrate Ifon people.

The union, in a statement signed by its Secretary, Prince Jide Akinyooye, refuted claims by Ilobu, that Ifon indigenes were intimidating, harassing and looting from farms owned by Ilobu indigenes.

OTHER NEWS   Why I Apologised To The Muslim Community — Controversial Isese activist, Tani Olohun

IPU urged the State Government to investigate the claims by the people of Ilobu that Abebi, Idi-Iroko Model Town, Wale, Ologele, Oloso, Molufon, Bolorunduro villages, among other places in the jurisdiction of Olufon Ward 10, Orolu Local Government, Ifon-Osun are covered by Surulere Local Government of Oyo State.

The statement reads in part: “Importantly, we would like to call the attention of the Osun State Government that we have all evidence that the people of Ilobu are relentless to sabotage the ongoing peace efforts and tragically conceding Osun State territory to Surulere Local Government area of Oyo State in a fruitless mischievous trick to frustrate the people of Orolu Local Government area of Osun State.

“There is no iota of truth in the allegations that indigenes of Ifon are intimidating, harassing and looting Ilobu people’s farms. Also, nobody is chasing them out of their farmlands. They have emphatically confused themselves that their people are farming in Oyo State.

“How possible is it that Orolu will be chasing people farming in Oyo State territory? The raw fact is that Ilobu has colluded with some stakeholders in Oyo State to concede some villages under Orolu Local Government, Osun State, to Oyo State out of malice for Ifon.

“We are calling on the Government of Osun State to investigate the calculated mischievous latter-day claims by the people of Ilobu that Abebi Village, Idi-Iroko Model Town, Wale Village, Ologele Village, Olosho Village, Molufon, Bolorunduro Village among other places in jurisdiction of Olufon Ward 10 in Orolu Local Government, Ifon-Osun are covered by Surulere Local Government of Oyo State.

“This wrong impression is not only unfortunate but unimaginable from well-identified Ilobu people that have grossly benefited from the magnanimity of Olufon as Olufon’s customary tenants over decades.

“The Orolu Stakeholders are openly declaring that the people in referred areas of Orolu Local Government area of Osun State have been under the administrative jurisdiction of Osun State and equally participating in voting exercise as a major part of Osun State since 1999.

“Therefore, we are challenging anyone with a contrary opinion to challenge this claim with justifiable voters card of Independent National Electoral Commission or any other evidence as appropriate.”

Background checks

VOICE AIR MEDIA pointed out that the Osun State Government is yet to lift the curfew levied on the two Communities, from 6am to 6pm.

“On October 10th, 2023, 12 hours daily curfew, beginning from 6 am to 6 pm,” Osun State Government reported.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *