Eight people, including an infant, have been reportedly killed in a communal clash between Ifon and Ilobu communities in Osun State.
THE WHISTLER had visited some of the affected areas and observed that houses were razed and properties destroyed during the clash, which occurred overnight on Thursday as a lingering dispute over a piece of land escalated.
Residents of the two communities, especially women and children, were seen carrying their belongings and leaving their homes for safer places.
The communities were deserted, with security operatives taking over some flashpoints where violence could erupt again.
Speaking in an interview with THE WHISTLER, the Jagun of Ilobu and spokesperson of the Olobu-in-Council, Chief Adegoke Ogunsola, alleged that the police were biased, saying that a policeman fired several gunshots at the high-tension wire in Ilobu, damaging the cable.
“Since yesterday when a police officer did that, we have been thrown into darkness in Ilobu,” he said. “They (Ifon people) used the opportunity to attack our people at night. Four of our people were killed, including an infant. The mother and others were shot and are receiving treatments at Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.”
Ogunsola added that the cause of the clash was an announcement on a radio station that Ilobu would be having an Oro festival and taking sacrifices to certain places, including their land.
“We alerted all our Baales to be vigilant because of Ilobu,” he said. “So far, from the Ilobu community, we have recorded four fatalities, including a baby. The government intervention is not enough because the security agencies that were drafted to the area stationed themselves at the Ojutu bridge. They didn’t enter the town where the occurrence happened.”
Speaking also to THE WHISTLER, the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Ifon Community, Prince Jide Akinyooye, confirmed that four of their indigenes were killed during the clash, with many others currently hospitalized.
Akinyooye alleged that the police were taking sides with the Ilobu community in attacking Ifon. He disclosed that only 13 policemen were mobilized on the day of the clash.
“It is so unfortunate that properties were destroyed during the attack on us,” he said. “They were distributing guns at the palace of Olobu to attack us. The government must act very fast before the issue gets out of hand. Four of our indigenes were killed by the Ilobu people. They started the attack on our people last night.”
Subsequently, Governor Ademola Adeleke announced during a town hall meeting on Thursday in Osogbo that the disputed land had been taken over by his government.
“I have given a directive that nobody should be seen on the disputed land,” he said. “Anybody they see there should be arrested and prosecuted. The state government has taken over the disputed land. The kings and leaders should come together. If government takes over all your land, you will know. I have informed the Chief of Army Staff, who hails from Ilobu, and he has given a standing order to soldiers to be in charge.”