Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has waded into a 15-year-old communal feud between Itele and Ayetoro-Budo in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The feud between the two communities had led to the loss of many lives and properties with efforts to resolve the crisis always fruitless.
However, on Saturday, Mr Obasanjo engaged leaders of the two communities in a meeting at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
At the end of the meeting, he said: “the war is over for good.”
A press release signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, quoted Mr Obasanjo as saying: “Despite the war, those of us pointing guns at each other at the war front, sat down to reconcile and ended the war.
“That is the beauty of disagreement. Coming together again to settle and move on in the interest of peace, progress and future generations. It is time to come together in your areas. I want to appeal you all to sheathe your swords’.
“I know that Akanle can do it, because of my schedule, whatever he says, it is me that is saying it. It is only a bastard that do not get angry when provoked and it is only a bastard that we beg and turn recalcitrant. I once again appeal that let the war be over,” Mr Obasanjo said.
The traditional ruler of Ayetoro town, Adewunmi Odutala, in his remarks, said peace would return to the town and commended the former president on his intervention.
“I have come for another event here in Abeokuta and since you said you wanted to see me. Sir, I told my entourage that we should come together. It is part of the sincere move that you really wanted peace in our domain’,” the monarch said.
“I want to really appreciate you Sir and our highly respected Baba (Obasanjo). I promise that with this, we have no option than to put the past behind us in the interest of all that you have mentioned,” Mr Odutala said.
Similarly, speaking on behalf of the Itele community, Kazeem Ajiboye (a.k.a Oluomo), said: “War is over. We cannot but thank our fathers, who have the interest of Itele and Ayetoro at hearts more than us. We shall put the past behind us.”
The initiator of the peace parley, Abraham Akanle, who is the younger brother of Mr Obasanjo, also admonished the two communities to embrace peace and put the past behind them.
“I was not happy at all with the situation. I knew and related very well with your fathers and I am sure that they will not be happy wherever they are now. I have said that let Ayetoro be and let Itele be. Live together in harmony. There is much positive and prosperous future if we all come together,” he said.
“This my brother has corroborated. Your coming together again will bring me joy. Next year, I will be 81. What again do I need now, but to do things that will make me happy. I beg you my children, let us embrace peace,” Mr Akanle said.
Meanwhile, the meeting ended with each community selecting five representatives to work on how compensation and rehabitation would be achieved before the end of August.
The group will include security personnel and will submit its report on Thursday for ratification by the two communities.
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