…as reconciliatory committee submits report on Thursday
Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Former President of the country, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has stepped into 15 year old communal crisis between two neighbouring communities of Ayetoro-Budo and Itele in Ado-Odo/Ota area of Ogun State declaring that the crisis was as good as over as all issues relating to the rift would be amicably resolved before the end of August.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo according to statement from his Media aide, Mr Kehinde Akinyemi made this commitment while meeting with members of the feuding communities last Friday at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta
The communities according to the statement have been at daggers drawn over the years, with attendant loss of lives and properties while all efforts to bring both sides to a roundtable for a truce since the misunderstanding became a major crisis in 2004 had met with brick wall until last Friday.
The former President told the fueding communities that it was time to bury their hatchet in the interest of the future generations.
The meeting which drew emotions had Obasanjo reechoing the memories of the civil war, saying, “despite the war, those of us pointing guns at each other at the war front, sat down to reconcile and ended the war.
“That is the beauty of disagreement. Coming together again to settle and move on in the interest of peace, progress and future generations. It is time to come together in your areas. I want to appeal you all to sheath your swords.
“I know that Akanle can do it, because of my schedule…, whatever he says, it is me that is saying it. It is only a bastard that do not get angry when provoked and it is only a bastard that we beg and turn recalcitrant. I once again appeal that let the war be over,” Obasanjo said.
The traditional ruler of Ayetoro, the Onibudo of Ayetoro-budo, Oba Adewunmi Adeniji Odutala in his address assured that peace and progress would return to the town.
He thanked the former President and Chief Akanle for their efforts to bring both sides together again, despite futile attempts of the past.
Oba Odutala further commended the peace parley despite having no prior briefing before coming. “I have come for another event here in Abeokuta and since you said you wanted to see me Sir, I told my entourage that we should come together. It is part of the sincere move that you really wanted peace in our domain.
“I want to really appreciate you Sir and our highly respected Baba (Obasanjo). I promise that with this, we have no option than to put the past behind us in the interest of all that you have mentioned.”
Speaking on behalf of the Itele community, Alh. Kazeem Ajiboye (a.k.a Oluomo) also assured that, “war is over. We cannot but thanked our fathers, who have the interest of Itele and Ayetoro at hearts more than us. We shall put the past behind us,” he also assured.
Abraham Idowu Akanle, who was joined by the former President’s Chief of Staff, Deacon Victor Durodola at the meeting admonished the two communities to embrace peace and put the past behind them.
“I was not happy at all with the situation. I knew and related very well with your fathers and I am sure that they will not be happy wherever they are now. I have said that let Ayetoro be and let Itele be. Live together in harmony. There is much positive and prosperous future if we all come together.
“This my brother has corroborated. Your coming together again will bring me joy. Next year, I will be 81. What again do I need now, but to do things that will make me to be happy. I beg you my children, let us embrace peace,” Akanle said.
The meeting ended with the composition of five representatives each from both camps to work on how compensation and rehabitation would be achieved before the end of August 2019.
The ad-hoc team, which will include security personnel is to submit its report on Thursday for final vetting and ratification by the two communities.