Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
One person has been reportedly killed while 10 others allegedly sustained varying degrees of injuries during the fierce clash that ensued between Moro and Yakoyo communities in Ife North Local Government Area over boundary lines.
The former Chief of Army Staff, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd), was alleged to be a party to the dispute.
The middle-aged man, Olufemi Folorunso, was allegedly killed around 10.30p.m. by the youths of Yakoyo last Sunday.
When THISDAY visited the two communities last Monday evening, there was tension in the area. However, the police were seeing in some strategic places to maintain peace and order.
At the palace of Olumoro of Moro, Oba Abidoye Oyeniyi, the residents, mainly youths, gathered to express their anger.
An illustrious son of Yakoyo, Akinrinade, it was learnt, came to the palace to appease the people of the neighboring Moro community.
The two communities have been at loggerhead over boundary matter, which has resulted in incessant fracas that have claimed many lives and property.
The National President of Moro Progressive Union, Femi Ogundele, at a press conference last Monday alleged that the skirmish started when some people identified to be Akinrinade’s aides were seen cleaning the name of the town from signboards erected on Moro’s land.
He said when the people were challenged, they claimed to have been acting on the directive of the retired army general.
According to him, Akinrinade later surfaced and admitted to have instructed the people to carry out the assignment.
“When he was confronted, he claimed that since he had paid for those portions of land he is presently occupying, he has the right to change the name of the area despite falling within our community.
“He is from Yakoyo; we sold the portion of land he is presently occupying to him and we have evidence of payment with legally backed agreement.
“We later settled it with the intervention of our royal father and his elder brother, who facilitated a peace meeting.
“But to our utter dismay, few hours after the truce, we started hearing gunshots and before we realised what was happening, a young man had been shot dead.
“As if that was not enough, the assailants came to our palace again around 10p.m. and started shooting sporadically. They eventually succeeded in breaking the palace’s gate and vandalised many cars parked within the premises.
“The state Commissioner of Police has to come to the scene with her men before the situation could be brought under control, it was really a nightmare for our community,” Ogundele said.
He therefore appealed to security agencies to beef up security around the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order.
Akinrinade, in his reaction, simply dismissed the crisis as a consequence of youth exuberance and excesses of young people who are largely idle.
According to him, “Beyond nomenclature, Yakoyo and Moro are communities of the same origin going by their historical background.
“The crisis started as just a small misunderstanding about where the boundaries lie, whether your house or mine is in Moro or Yakoyo.
“You know, the modern system where people start drawing lines and putting signboards are alien to communal cohesion, that is modern.
“To me, the crisis was absolutely unnecessary to have even resulted in altercation not to talk of going to the extent of fighting one another.
“Unfortunately, when you have a community with so many young people that are not busy, this is the kind of thing you experience.”
Also speaking, the Baale Aiyedade of Ojigidiri, Chief Busade Adebagbo, said the incident is not necessary following the meeting preceding the renaming of signposts in the town.
He said the land in question belongs to Moro and was sold to Akinrinade, and they have all the necessary documents to prove the ownership of the land.
He urged the people of Moro to remain calm and not retaliate over their land.