Fresh Crisis Looms Between Ife, Modakeke

Fresh crisis is brewing between the people of Ile-Ife and Modakeke in Osun State over the alleged refusal of the former to allow the latter return to their farmlands located in Ife domain.
It was reliably gathered that the looming crisis was aggravated by the results of the last governorship election in the state, which returned Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to office for a second term.
It would be recalled that the Modakeke/Ife communal clash claimed several lives and property worth several million of naira broke out in 1997, following the creation of Ife-East Local Government Area and the location of the new council’s headquarters.
The communal clash lasted for about five years until the intervention of the Presidency under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, when the crisis subsided in 2001.
However, since then, the people of Modakeke were not allowed to return to their farmlands reportedly owned by the people of Ife, who were said to be demanding, among other things, royalties on the farmlands.
All the while, the people of Modakeke, who are predominantly farmers, have not been allowed to return to the farmland until the last governorship election.
During the campaign, the candidates especially the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, promised to come to their aide by appealing to Ife elders and traditional chiefs to allow the Modakeke people to return to their farmlands on the condition that they would vote for him en masse.
But the result of the last governorship election did not go as expected by the Ife and PDP, a situation which indirectly aggravated the animosity between the people of the two towns as more than 90 per cent of the votes cast in Modakeke were in favour of Aregbesola.
The development, however, prompted Ife to be pointing accusing fingers at Modakeke as betrayers, a situation which has resulted in the fresh disagreements between the two communities.
A visit to the area especially along Oyere Road, Alapata, Amokegun and Oyolowa, on Thursday, it was discovered that the people had taken up arms and blocked all roads leading to the areas.
They also turned away motorists plying the areas and shooting indiscriminately into the air.
It was also discovered that bonfires were made on the road leading to the area while the people of the two towns hid in nearby bush to watch the situation.
When contacted on phone, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abubakar Marafa, through the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Folasade Odoro (DSP), confirmed the development.
She said the command had swiftly responded and beefed up security in the area, adding that the situation was under control.

Author: News Editor

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