From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Regent of Ibese Land, in Yewa North local government Area of Ogun State, Tajudeen Adewuyi, has clarified that the clashes which erupted on Tuesday between youths of the town and members of the Hausa community at Dangote Cement Company, has nothing to do with the alleged non-payment of compensation to people of Ibese by the company.
The regent made the clarification while speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday, declaring the crisis was about the lingering issue of non-payment of compensation for the land acquired for building the cement factory.
The clash, which reportedly started on Monday, snowballed into an ethnic crisis between the Hausa and the Yoruba communities on Tuesday, leaving no fewer than three people dead with, about 12 motorcycles burnt.
It was further gathered that the motorcyclists operating at Dangote Cement Factory Junction at Ibese were at loggerheads with the union leaders over a hike in ticket fees from N600 to N800.
The police spokesman in Ogun State DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident. He, however, could not confirm the number of casualties.
‘The issue is currently under control. It was a minor struggle that had snowballed into a serious crisis.
‘They said the unions increased their ticket fee from N600 to N800 and that was how the crisis started. But how it then turned into the Hausa and Yoruba crisis is what I don’t know.
‘But, we are on top of the matter. The situation has been brought under control. Our men are still there as we speak,’ Oyeyemi stated.
But speaking on the issue, Adewuyi said it was untrue that some youths of the town went on a rampage to vent their anger on Dangote Cement company’s alleged refusal to pay them compensations years after it began exploration on their lands.
He explained that elders of the town were on top of the situation, insisting the mayhem had nothing to do with Ibese people versus the cement factory.
‘Be informed that it was miscreants who hijacked the chaotic situation, setting Dangote’s property ablaze; we have commenced moves to arrest the miscreants and bring them to book,’ he stated.
The regent added that the issue of compensation was being handled, expressing optimism that the matter was on the verge of settlement, noting the company was cooperating with indigenes of the town.