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84 houses damaged over leadership crisis in Ondo community

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Leaders of Aiyetoro, in llaje council area of Ondo state, have raised the alarm that 84 houses have been destroyed in the community since the leadership crisis started five years ago.

Addressing newsmen under the auspices of Ogeloyinbo in the council of Aiyetoro and the Board of Trustees of the Holy Apostles Church, the leaders, lamented that the destruction persisted till yesterday.

On behalf of the community, the Asiwaju of Aiyetoro, Gani Ojagbohunmi, lamented the ongoing destruction of properties including the palace of the Ogeloyinbo, threat to lives, attempt to kidnap the monarch, Oba Micah Ajijo by some hoodlums.

Ojagbohunmi, who was a former Clerk of the House of Representatives, was joined by the chairman Board of Trustees, Rev. J. I. Ajijo, Secretary of the BOT, Folajimi lretolu, Baba Ijo of the community, Bishop E Eretan and the Basorun of Aiyetoro, Tola Alabere.

They said that the crisis in the community erupted after the recognition of Oba Ajijo as the leader of the community and the sack of Oluwanbe Ojagbohunmi by the court.

According to them, Oluwanbe, created a parallel leadership structure in the community to cause chaos and violence despite a peaceful settlement initiated by the state government.

”As we speak, they have driven away from the community innocent people, attempted to kill them, threatened them with guns and looting of valuable properties, assaulted and caused various degrees of bodily harm coupled with waylaying innocent indigenes on the streets of the community both day and night.

”These hoodlums are equally terrorising and looting houses of market women with dangerous instruments.

On the allegations of payment of oil spill compensation to the monarch, Ojagbohunmi, said that N90 million paid by an oil company was paid into the community’s account adding that over 240 victims of the spillage have received compensation.

According to him, all the negotiations and arrangements on the formula for payment of the compensation to entitled beneficiaries were concluded by the predecessor of the present Oba Ajijo.

The Asiwaju of Aiyetoro noted that the N90m ( first tranche) compensation was an out-of-court arrangement by the community lawyers and the oil company.

While clarifying that disbursement of the compensation was done through banks, Ojagbohunmi said that Oluwanmbe, in a bid to struggle with the community leaders on the issue of legitimacy, instructed some people not to collect their entitlements.

Ojagbohunmi explained: ”However, majority of the people entitled to the money in his group ignored his directive and went ahead to collect their money.

“We have records of people in its dissident group who already collected their entitlements.

“It is pertinent to note that the allegation of wrongdoing concerning the compensation money is nothing new.

”The matter was earlier reported to the Ondo State Command, Akure. After some investigations, the police Command expressed satisfaction that the leadership of the community properly handled the administration of the compensation.

”Therefore, we cannot see any justification for resorting to violence, a threat to life, and destruction of valuable properties of the leader of the community and other indigenes of the community.

“We thank the Ondo State Government for promptly setting up a reconciliation committee on the crisis in our community”.

Ojagbohunmi pleaded with the state government “go further than that to prevent further destruction of property and harassment of innocent people”.

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