Leaders of the two warring communities in Osun State on Monday night embraced one another to demonstrate they have agreed to sheath their swords over the disagreements that culminated in the communal clash.
Ipetumodu and Ashipa, both in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun State, have recently made headlines for engaging themselves in fight over a disputed land and the clash in their market days, thereby allowing youths of the towns to engage in a communal clash.
At the meeting were the Apetu of Ipetumodu, Oba James Adegoke, and the representative of the Alashipa of Ashipa, Ojediran Olaleke, chiefs and leaders of the township associations of both communities.
The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in whose presence the leaders of the communities embraced one another, charged the two warring communities to ensure promotion of communal peace and progress, which is one of the cardinal programmes of his administration or face government’s sanctions.
The governor gave this charge in his office at a meeting with the leaders of the two communities, while charting ways to end the disagreement between the towns over a parcel of land and the clash in market days as enumerated by leaders of the two communities.
Aregbesola at the peace meeting urged the monarchs and leaders of the two communities to warn the youths not to further engage in acts that could further jeopardise the peace of the communities and the state at large.
He told them to always uphold the ethos of ‘Omoluabi’, which the state is known for, saying that development can only thrive in an atmosphere where there is peace and unity.
The governor used the occasion of the peace meeting to call on security agencies to comb the nooks and crannies of the communities to recover arms that are not licenced in a house-to-house search to forestall further use of weapons.
Aregbesola also pointed out that a committee will be set up look deeply into the remote cause and solution to the problems identified by the leaders of the two communities.
He held that the two communities got it wrong by having to resort to violence instead of dialogue, adding that it is so bad that the two communities are warring when the state is going through massive development of infrastructure.
The governor disclosed that it will be a bad signal for investors who are thronging Osun State on a daily basis to be faced with the issue of communal clashes, warning that the state government will not hesitate to come down heavily on erring communities.
According to him: “It is so sad that this is happening at a point that investors are coming in into the state on a daily basis and your communities have decided to solve your differences through fight which we have all seen here as unnecessary.
“With the ongoing clash in your domains commercial activities have been brought to a halt and property destroyed, student who have nothing in your dispute are made to bear the brunt by the burning of their hostel.
“Why should students be given the opportunity to have a bad impression about your communities?
“I am not happy that this is happening in our land.
“It doesn’t send a good signal.
“Shooting of gun doesn’t help us.
“We should find a lasting solution to these happenings.
“Things like a market day should not cause problem.
“I want to use this opportunity to beg the two communities to allow peace to reign from now on.
“We should maintain status quo till the committee we are going to set up come out with recommendations.
“Henceforth, any of the two communities found wanting will be seriously dealt with, because we will not allow anything short of peace and security in the state.”