The people of Araromi-Obu and Ikale (Ago- Alaye), the two communities involved in land dispute in Ondo state, have pledged to embrace peace.
The leaders of the two communities gave the promise on Wednesday in Akure during the public hearing organised by the panel of inquiry constituted by the state government to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the dispute.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that two communities had, on July 16, involved in a physical violence which resulted in destruction of some public and private properties.
also recalls that no fewer than four persons were killed and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed in the violence that erupted in Ago Alaye community, in Odigbo Local Government area of the state.
Consequently, the state government had set up a five-man panel, headed by a former Commissioner for National Resources, Mr Tunde Atere, to unearth the factors that led to the crises between the two communities.
Mr Charles Titiloye, Counsel to the people of Araromi- Obu, said that the two communities had been living together peacefully for many years as brothers and sisters before the incident happened.
“We need peace in both communities and we have been living together in harmony and many inter-marriages had been recorded for years. We are both sisters and brothers, and we shall remain so.
“This is a panel of wise men and we believe that it will dig into the remote causes of the crisis, in order to find lasting solutions to the issue amicably,” he said.
Titiloye noted that government must be determined to prosecute those involved in the crisis so that justice could be done and also compensate those whose properties were damaged during the fracas.
“It is after the committee must have done this that there could be lasting solutions to the lingering crisis.
Similarly, Mr Donald Ajibola, Counsel to the people of Ikale, said that the community was ready to embrace peace, if the committee’s recommendations were fair to the two parties involved in the dispute.
Ajibola, who said that the two communities had been living together for more than 100 years, called on the panel to appeal to the leaders of the communities not to allow their personal interest to jeopardise the common interests of the communities.
The panel chairman assured the two communities that the committee would be fair and unbiased in its recommendations to the state government.
Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and ‘Wale Sadeeq