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Ikare crisis: Olukare, Owa Ale, stakeholders brainstorm for peace

By Jimoh Ahmed, Ikare Akoko

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Gripped by fear and anxiety, notable traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in Akoko have held a crucial meeting towards finding a lasting solution to the incessant communal crisis which recently engulfed Ikare Akoko.

The Palaces of Olukare of Ikare and Owa-Ale were said to be apprehensive and upbeat over the strong warning handed down by the State Government to banish them should the incessant crisis erupt again.

A competent source who confided in The Hope said the meeting of the Akoko leaders, was held yesterday at a secret location with all the critical Ikare Akoko stakeholders and other notable Akokos in attendance.

Our correspondent observed that palpable disquiet has enveloped the beleaguered town since the government announced its intension to banish the Olukare of Ikare and Owa Ale of Iyometa over incessant violent in the area.

Reliable sources hinted The Hope that the government threat has broken the hearts of the war mongers who are now thinking of a peaceful solution to avoid government big stick and the consequences of banishing any of the two traditional rulers.

Ondo State Executive Council on Wednesday had threatened to banish the Olukare of Ikare-Akoko and the Owa-Ale of Iyometa if the ugly situation repeats itself.

The council at the meeting also relaxed the 24 hours curfew imposed on the community from dusk to dawn (6pm to 6am).

The Council resolved that any further crisis in Ikare will result in the banishment of the Olukare and Owa-Ale.

Government also set up a five-member committee to look into the crisis in Ikare and recommend resolution on the Olokoja issue.

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The committee members include Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, Chairman, Chief Jamiu Afolabi Ekungba, member, Dr Tunji Abayomi, member, Mrs Oreoluwa Agbayewa member and Mr. Joseph Dele Adesanmi as Secretary.

The crisis and curfew imposed by the government had prevented normal economic and social life in the once bubbling commercial nerve centre of the Akokos.

When The Hope visited the town on Thursday, all banks in the ancient town were still under lock and key.

A bank official who doesn’t want her name mentioned said financial institutions in the town were still not opening for business because they need to monitor and study the situation before commencing operations.

According to her, it was in line with the need to be security conscious.

Similarly, major markets in the town were still deserted while few shops opened for business. Human and vehicular movements improved compared with when there was 24 hour curfew.

The motor park at the front of the Olukare’s Palace was empty as no vehicle was seen there but our reporter learnt some of the commercial vehicle drivers were loading at Odoruwa, some few metres away from the park.

School children have also not returned to their schools. A resident, Abu Anifa, said parents were afraid of a possible renewed attack and as such prevented their wards from going to school.

Abu Anifa, however, disclosed that pupils would return to schools on Monday to commence academic activities.

Some traders who spoke with The Hope under condition of anonymity disclosed that they were still afraid of a possible renewed attack, a situation which has forced them to watch the turn of event before commencing trading activities.

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Some butchers who also spoke with our reporter said they have been advised not to start selling because of a possible renewed attack.

A popular vendor in the town, Alhaji Fatai Oluwagbemi while speaking with The Hope said people, especially in Okoja, whose properties were destroyed or looted during the clash, were still skeptical about the security situation and therefore were afraid of coming out.

Another resident, Mr Marshall Ojuolape, said the late announcement of the relaxation of the curfew on Wednesday, contributed to the reason people have not fully returned to the streets and the reawakening of full socio economic activities in the town.

In a telephone interview, the Olubaka of Oka, Oba Yusuf Adebori, described Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as a listening leader who wants the best for his people.

Oba Adebori commended the governor for the gesture in reviewing the curfew.

The monarch, however, called on the people of Ikare Akoko and the entire Akoko land to always embrace peace so that they could get more dividends of democracy and free flow of investments.

An educationist and a school proprietor, Mr Ade Badmus said the review of the curfew by governor Akeredolu is a testimony of his love for the residents.

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Ikare crisis: Olukare, Owa Ale, stakeholders brainstorm for peace

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