The Panel of Inquiry set up by Ondo State Government to unravel the remote and immediate causes of land dispute between the people of Araromi Obu and Ikale (Ago Alaye) has appealed to the communities to maintain peace.
A former Commissioner for Natural Resources, Mr Tunde Atere, made the plea while leading members of the panel on a courtesy visit to the palace of Oba Adelola Aderemi, the Ajobu of Araromi-Obu in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state on Friday.
He solicited for peace pending the outcome of findings and recommendations of the panel.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the state government inaugurated a five-man panel headed by Atere to unearth the factors that led to the July 18 crisis between the communities.
NAN reports that no fewer than four persons were killed, while property worth millions of naira were destroyed in the violence that erupted in Ago Alaye community in Odigbo Local Government area of the state.
Atere said that the panel had received some memoranda from the two communities, urging the people to maintain peace and shun any form of fighting or killing, while they await the recommendations of the committee.
“We believe that the two communities have been living together for over 100 years ago. They even intermarried; so, why are they fighting, destroying their property and killing themselves instead of living in peace and harmony?
“The major reason for setting up this committee is to find lasting solutions to the crisis and I know that by the special name of Almighty God, peace shall reign in the two communities.
“In any settlement or community, If there is no peace there will be no development in the community. So, we need to shun bitterness and embrace peace and tolerate ourselves, no matter the conditions,” Atere said.
Atere, who noted that all the memos submitted by the two communities would be attended to, said that the committee would not be biased but rather would be diligent and passionate with every issue raised in their memorandum.
“We are going to do our job without fear or favour and we will not be biased or partial in our recommendations to the state government,” he said.
In his response, Oba Aderemi appreciated the state government for its quick intervention in the crisis and for constituting the panel of inquiry.
The monarch noted that the community had been in existence for over 500 years, explaining that they were the original owners of the land and not settlers as being claimed by the Ikale people.
“We have never been the tenant of Ikale people and neither have we ever paid homage to them. We are not part of them; likewise they are not part us; but the only thing that joins us together is that we share border,” Oba Aderemi said.
According to him, Araromi-Obu community has 100 per cent confidence in the state government and the panel of inquiry.
“We, therefore, pledge our support and cooperation toward the success of the panel,’’ the monarch said.