Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Some towns of the Ikale speaking areas of Ago Alaye, Agirifon and Basola in Odigbo Local Government Area in Ondo State have petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, over the alleged bias of the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in the way he is handling a communal clash between them and the neighbouring Araromi Obu, which they claimed had been trespassing into their land.
In the petition by their lawyer, Olusanmi Tobase, addressed to the IG on July 25, 2019, the communities said trouble started on July 16 when a group of Ikale young men and their tenants were on their way to hunt and farm on their land located on the road to Araromi Obu.
According to the petition, “While on their way, they were ambushed by some Araromi Obu boys who were armed with all manners of guns, including sophisticated ones like machetes and UTC axes. On the road, they halted our clients and requested for their mission, and our clients asked them of the basis for the questions. The response was a volley of gunshots at our clients.
“In the ensued melee, our clients were forced to defend themselves even as they fled, but it was not without serious and life-threatening injuries on them. In the process, the Araromi Obu boys deployed a sharp object at one of our clients and ripped open his bowels.”
The petitioners stated that it was not the first time the people would be attacked on their land which a court judgment had awarded to them.
They alleged that their people, “who were victims of the unprovoked attack,” had been placed under 24 hours curfew by the governor, and hounded and dumped in prison while Araromi Obu, where the aggression originated, had been given a field day, so much that Ikale citizens resident there had been forced to flee for their lives.
They stated that an earlier petition sent to the Commissioner of Police in the state had not been acted upon.
The petition added: “It is to redress this one sided and extremely oppressive investigation that we write to you to save our clients souls.
“It has become a pattern that when our clients are attacked, it is covered up by powerful forces but every time our clients act in self defence or exercise a given right against Araromi Obu people, all hells are let loose.
“Without hearing our clients’ side of the story, the governor placed our clients’ community of Ago Alaye under 24 hours curfew after visiting Araromi Obu. As soon as the governor left, Araromi Obu boys resumed their acts of violence against the Ikale using the Mobile policemen.”