A major communal clash has erupted between the people of Ipetumodu and Asipa, two of the six principal towns in Ife North local government area of Osun State.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the two communities are battling over land rights. Witnesses say many lives were lost while several houses were burnt on Friday after fighting broke out.
The Osun state police public relations officer, Folasade Odoro, however, claimed no life was lost while stating that the police have stepped in to restore peace in the kingdom.
“No death recorded, four building burnt, police are fully on ground containing the situation from escalating and protecting lives and property to restore normalcy to the area,” she told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone.
Residents of Okoko, a border area of Ipetumodu have moved out for fear of further attacks from Asipa warriors.
It was gathered that trouble had been building up between the two towns for years now. At a point, the people of Asipa barred the Ipetus from trading at their market. Consequently, the Ipetu people had to establish their own market at Akinola Junction on the Ife-Ibadan highway.
Two politicians who spoke on condition of anonymity said the situation was grievous.
Indigenes of other towns – Yakoyo, Moro, Edunabon and Akinlalu can longer pass through Asipa from Akinlalu Junction on the Ife – Ibadan expressway. They now make detours from Gbogan to Odeomu and Sekona.
Other traditional rulers in the local government have waded into the festering matter before it becomes intractable.
Some prominent traditional rulers in the area including were said to have sent emissaries to pacify the two towns.
This paper could not also confirm if the Osun state government has stepped into the crisis as efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to speak with the Osun state commissioner for information, Sunday Akere, and the spokesperson to the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon were unsuccessful.
Calls placed to their telephone lines were unreachable; messages sent were also not responded to.