Native’s stomach ripped open as rubber war rages in Ondo

By / 12 months ago / News / 1 Comment
Native’s stomach ripped open as rubber war rages in Ondo

Native’s stomach ripped open as rubber war rages in Ondo

Blood flowed as youths of Araromi Obu and lkales, Ondo State battled over land. No fewer than 14 persons have been arrested by the police and charged to court for allegedly destroying properties worth millions of naira. One of the victims An Akure High Court, presided by Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu, had granted customary ownership of the expanse of land where a rubber plantation is located and many other lands in dispute to the Ikales. This happened 15 years after the case was instituted by the monarch of Araromi-Obu, Oba Aderemi Adelola, against his counterpart in Ikoya, Oba Faduyile. Another defendant was the Lisa of Ikoya, Chief Aderoloye Netufo. The disputed land ceded to the Ikale by court’s pronouncement include Araromi-Obu, Ajebamidele, Aiyesan, Tenola, Koseru, Oniparaga, Kajola, Imorun, Laleipa, Aiyetimbo, Ajebambo, Adewinle, Akinseye, Okefara, Omowole, Agoidogun, Obadoore, Ogunlepa, Onipetesi, Mile 49, Labon, Temidire, Sakoto1 and 11, Basola 1 and 11, Ago Alaiye, Ayetoro 1 and II, and Onitea. But less than a month after the court verdict, some youths went to war in Araromi Obu and Ago Alaye communities. Four persons were hacked to death in the farm, houses were torched, vehicles razed and hundreds displaced as violence reigned for days. There have been allegations and counter-allegations of who the aggressor was. In the crisis, the monarch of Araromi-Obu, Adelola, escaped death by whiskers when his convoy was attacked by suspected hoodlums while returning from a trip from Akure, the state capital. Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, the President of the Araromi-Obu Development Union, Senator Omololu Meroyi, said, “Four people have been killed, eight persons injured while five houses were burnt at Ago-Alaiye. “The Araromi-Obu people have been under severe attack by their Ikale neighbours over the judgment of an Akure High Court that ceded part of their land to Ikale people. “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 judgment that ceded our lands to Ikale people. Rather than wait for the law to take its course, these people have taken the law 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”. A former Chairman of Odigbo Local Government, Prince Olu Falolu, also said, “The judgment has been appealed while a stay of execution has also been filed at the appellate court. “On daily basis, they have been tapping rubber, carting away farm produce and harassing farmers. We have notified the government, the state Commissioner of Police and other security services. Yet they have not stopped brutalizing our people. “We are no cowards but civilised people. If our patience is exhausted, we will be forced to take the law into our hands.” But responding, the traditional ruler of Ikaleland, Oba George Babatunde Faduyile, said, “In the aftermath of the current crisis, Ikales are being painted by security agencies as the aggressors and are being so treated. This, of course, is not correct. “Up till today, we have not been served with any application for stay of judgement. “While the case was on, Araromi Obu people, including the Ajobu, took over lands being used by Ikales for hunting and farming and started planting cash crops there. “While my people were on their way to hunt and farm located on the way to Araromi Obu, a group of Ikales and their tenants were ambushed and attacked so badly that the intestines of one of them came out after his stomach was ripped open with machete while others sustained severe gunshot wounds. “All hell broke loose. While the injured were being taken away for treatment, information filtered into Ago Alaye that the man whose intestines came out had died and this started instant mob reaction which saw some houses of Araromi people being torched. “There were reprisals against Ikales in Araromi many of whom have now fled their houses for safety. In all of these, security agencies have concentrated their hostilities on Ikales portraying them as the aggressors while treating Obu people with kid gloves”. Speaking on behalf of the Ikale people, High Chief Jacob Akeremale alleged that the people of Araromi Obu were the aggressors, saying they are sharing their displeasure over the judgement of the High Court by attacking the Ikale people. He said the people of Araromi Obu started the attack on Ikale people who are ready to take over the land “but since they have approached the Appeal Court, we have put on hold our taking over of the land”. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Ago Alaye community and thereafter visited the troubled communities. While commending the Ajobu, Adelola, for maintaining the peace in the community by appealing to his people against reprisal attack, Akeredolu said, “We will not allow miscreants to disturb the peace in this community”. Police spokesperson in Ondo State, Femi Joseph, said mobile policemen had been deployed to in the communities, adding that “the command has been able to put the situation under control”. Meanwhile, reports say suspects arrested in connection with the violence in the communities have been ordered to be remanded in prison custody by an Akure Chief Magistrate’s Court

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