Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
At least two persons were on Wednesday feared dead in a communal clash between Araromi Obu community in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State and Ikale in Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.
It was learnt that tension is already mounting in the two neighbouring communities over the ownership of a parcel of land located between the two towns.
Also, no fewer than ten persons were said to have sustained serious injuries in the clash involving members of the two communities.
It was gathered that a state High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, had ruled on the land case in favour of Ikale community.
It was also gathered that people from Ikale community invaded Araromi Obu, preventing the people of the area who are mainly farmers from going to their farms.
According to a source, no fewer than ten people were seriously injured while two persons were feared dead during the clash.
Also, some houses were razed in the two towns while the clash lasted.
The source explained that the Ikale people have been threatening to forcefully take back the land after the court ruling which favoured them, despite an appeal filed by the Araromi Obu community.
He said those injured during the attack had been transferred to an undisclosed hospital, adding that the Comprehensive Health Centre in the community could not handle the situation.
He said the Ikale people also invaded Ago Alaye village, destroying houses and vehicles belonging to Araromi Obu indigenes living in the village.
Also, the source said indigenes of the community have fled their homes over attacks by the invaders for fear of being attacked.
The people of Araromi Obu had earlier raised the alarm over the invasion of the disputed land by the Ikale, despite filing an appeal to challenge the ruling of the lower court.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Araromi Obu Development Committee, Mr. Bisoye Monebi, condemned the invasion by the Ikale, saying the people carted away farm produce and drove away people from their farms.
He said the development nearly led to a communal clash, “but for the maturity of the community heads, necessitating the intervention of the state police command.”
The State Police Public Relations Officers (PPRO) Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the development said mobile policemen had been drafted to the communities to restore peace in the area.
He said: “I am aware that they are fighting and we have drafted our men to the area to restore normalcy. Some people have been arrested by our men in connection with the crisis.
“We have been able to restore peace to the communities, while the command has begun investigation,” the PPRO added.