The Osun State Governor in Southwest Nigeria has allayed fears of possible resurgence of the old Ife/Modakeke crisis due to the killing of five farmers by suspected rival group in Toro village, Ile-Ife.
The mainly Modakeke farmers were reportedly shot on Friday morning on their way to the farm.
The State Commissioner of Information, Mrs. Funke Egbemode gave the assurance in a statement after a meeting of government officials with the monarchs and heads of security agencies in the affected areas.
The statement also appealed to the people not to allow criminal elements to seize the situation to unleash mayhem on the people.
It said; ”the government has also ordered the immediate deployment of policemen with support from the army in the trouble areas to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.”
While sympathising with the families of those that died in the incident, Egbemode said Governor Adegboyega Oyetola called on security operatives to get to the root of the crisis.
Mr. Governor personally spoke to the Ooni of Ife, (Monarch), Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Moses Oyediran Oladejo. They both assured him of their commitments to peace by ensuring that the people from both areas also continue to remain peaceful and law abiding.
The statement quoted the Governor Oyetola as saying, “As government, we are resolved to do everything possible to protect citizens from actual and potential threats. To this end, we have ordered immediate deployment of security operatives to restore law and order.
“We have also directed security operatives to arrest and prosecute any person found fomenting trouble and to fish out those responsible for the killing of the five farmers”.
The Governor enjoined citizens to be peaceful and law abiding, assuring them of government commitment to protecting them and their property.
Ooni rules out Communal clash
Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife has warned the people from attaching communal colouration to the farmers killing in Toro village, describing it as sheer criminality.
He said efforts to attach communal colouration to the crime was an attempt to distract security operatives from unveiling the evil minds behind the crime by mischief makers; stressing that ”the motive was already known to security operatives who were on top of the matter.”
A statement issued by the Director, Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Mr Moses Olafare stated that while some mischief makers tried to link the criminality to the long-resolved Ife/Modakeke dispute.
He said: ”What happened at Toro village was sheer criminality and the long hand of the law would soon catch up with the perpetrators.”
The Monarch commended the government and the security operatives, the Police, Department of State Service, the Army and Vigilante groups for maintaining peace in the State.
The Ooni implored residents to go about their legitimate activities, adding that the killers do not represent any community.
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