The Ilobu community in Osun State has opted out of a Conflict Resolution Committee recently established by Governor Ademola Adeleke to work towards amicable resolution of issues leading to clashes among communities in Irepodun and Orolu Local Government Areas of the state.
The community made its decision to withdraw from the committee known in a letter addressed to the governor on behalf of Olobu of Ilobu, Oba Ashiru Olaniyan, signed by counsel for the town, Olatoye Aminu, on Friday.
The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Kolapo Alimi, had in a statement on Wednesday, said Adeleke had approved a 14-member Conflict Resolution Committee in relation to the Ifon-Ilobu communal clashes.
Alimi said the committee was put in place after a high-powered security meeting with all the stakeholders from Ilobu, Ifon, and Erin communities whom the governor met in their respective communities.
The Community Peace Resolution Committee consists of four persons each from Ilobu, Ifon and Erin-Osun communities, while two representatives were also chosen from Okanla.
But the Ilobu community in its letter to Adeleke based its decision to withdraw from the committee on the opportunity given to Okanla to be represented in the group, declaring that Okanla family could not be given a community status like Ilobu, Ifon-Osun and Erin-Osun.
The community alleged that the two slots given to Okanla on the committee were to be filled by an Ifon-Osun person and a man from Oyo State, who has never at any time lived or associated with Okanla family compound.
The letter read, “Again, we hereby, on behalf of our client, raise a serious objection to the inclusion and/or participation of the nominees of Okanla family in the Community Peace Resolution Committee. Our client’s objection is predicated on the following reasons, amongst others:
“Azeez Bashir Abimbade, Okanla family’s first nominee in the list of the 14-man Community Peace Resolution Committee, has not, whether presently or in the past, associated himself with Okanla Compound, Ilobu; but rat her he claims to be an indigene of Ifon-Osun and was once elected and served as a councillor in Orolu Local Government Council, Ifon-Osun and the said Azeez Bashir Abimbade is the current Local Government Party Chairman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Orolu Local Government Chapter, Ifon-Osun.”
The community said Okanla family had in the past dragged the Olobu of Ilobu, Oba Asiru Olaniyan and the people of Ilobu to court but lost the case up till Appeal Court while an attempt to reopen it at the supreme court was thwarted.
The Ilobu people also revealed that they earlier met the governor and informed him of the danger of giving a community status to Okanla family, adding that a letter had been submitted to him before the committee membership was unveiled.
The letter further read, “Consequent to the above, therefore, our client hereby gives notice to Your Excellency of the withdrawal of Ilobu representatives from the inauguration of the Community Peace Resolution Committee scheduled for February 9, 2024 and subsequent proceedings of the Committee but assure Your Excellency of our client’s readiness to step down their objection and resume participation in the committee proceedings if the inclusion of the representatives of Okanla family in the Community Peace Resolution Committee is reversed.”
When contacted for a reaction, Alimi said the government was looking into the complaint of the Ilobu community to find an amicable resolution whatever issues affecting peace in the area.
He said, “We had a meeting today where Ilobu people through their lawyer stated their position. Other communities also stated their position. The government is considering all facts before it. We are for peace and we will ensure peace return to the area.”
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