The process to reconcile the warring parties in Ajaawa, headquarters of Ogo-Oluwa local government, was initiated yesterday sequel to the intervention of Ogbomoso Joint Action Committee (JAC).
The reconciliation meeting, which held at the Ibadan residence of General Oladayo Popoola (rtd.) was brokered by the Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum (OCYF).
OCYF, it was learnt approached the leaders of the Joint Action Committee to mediate peace in the matter that almost left the agrarian community desolate owing to armed invasions, kidnappings, arrests, arson, killings and so on.
JAC is the emerging umbrella body of all Ogbomoso leading socio-cultural associations such as Ogbomoso Parapo Worldwide (headed by Justice Adeniran Afolabi (rtd)) and Ogbomoso Community Foundation (headed by Gen Oladayo Popoola (rtd)). Dr. Saka Balogun, active in the two organizations, is another prominent leader of JAC. The three form what could be described as a triumvirate leadership.
Also in attendance at the peace meeting yesterday were the leaders of OCYF led by Rev Peter Olaleye; Prince Gideon Adeoye a.k.a. Ade Master; chairman of Ogo-Oluwa local government, Hon Seun Ojo and other elders of Ajaawa including Prince Ezekiel Olalere Ajiboye, who is chairman of the influential Ajaawa Development Association.
Some others are the DG of Operation Burst in Oyo state and Hon Simeon Adegbola Oyeleke, a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, currently representing Surulere/Ogo-Oluwa state constituency.
Meanwhile, Alajaawa of Ajaawa, Oba Thompson Adeyeye Oyetunji was conspicuously absent at the meeting.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com learnt that both parties i.e. Ade Master and the Alajaawa side led to the meeting by the council chairman, Hon Ojo, aired their grievances each claiming innocence in the feud.
Ade Master reportedly washed himself clean of the kidnappings and killings in the community that became the immediate cause of the crisis, insisting he was innocent of the allegations that led to his properties being burnt down by irate youths.
It is recalled that he became a suspect after he helped to rescue some ”policemen,” who stormed the town in unconventional manner on the pretext of effecting an arrest (which incidentally is that of a staunch backer of Alajaawa, Chief Ifaleye Adeoye, the Araba Awo popularly known as Babanifa).
The attack on this man’s house by the armed men made the Ajaawa people take them for another set of kidnappers, having witnessed series of kidnappings prior that time and so engaged the attackers and overpowered them.
But explaining his role, Ade Master, an unsuccessful contestant to the Alajaawa throne last year, reportedly disclosed, “It was the Area Commander (in Ogbomoso) that called me that day on phone to help in rescuing the men that they were policemen from Abuja and not kidnappers. l only did the bidding of the Area Commander, but they counted it against me and went ahead to raze my buildings.”
In the same vein, the council chairman, Ojo absolved himself of any wrongdoing in the whole scenario, wondering why he and Alajaawa were being haunted and hunted by the police, at the instance of Ade Master.
It is also recalled that policemen from Abuja last month stormed his residence and the palace of Alajaawa to effect the arrest of the duo, the mission however failed. This led to their being declared wanted.
But after much jaw-jaw, the leaders of JAC appealed to both parties to bury the hatchet and allow peace to reign.
It was established that the whole ugly incident was instigated due to ignorance, lack of patience and the prevailing disunity in the community, which the elders called on the community to work on.
Similarly, the meeting called on Ade Master to secure the release of those in police net in Abuja as a result of the crisis including the aides of Alajaawa and the council chairman, who were arrested during the invasion on the chairman’s and Alajaawa’s residences by the police while the chairman on the other hand was saddled with the task of working out a modality with the state government that will see to the renovation of the burnt properties of Ade Master.
Further meetings are scheduled to hold soon including in Ajaawa that will involve the whole community so as to bring a lasting peace.
In another development, it was confirmed that the Araba Awo, Babanifa is dead, with his corpse being in possession of the police.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com reported he was stabbed by the invading policemen during the second raid on his residence in Ajaawa and was prevented from being taken to receiving medical treatment as the vehicle conveying him was hijacked allegedly by the police at the entrance of Bowen University Teaching Hospital, BUTH, Ogbomoso. But he also reportedly inflicted a fatal injury on one of the policemen leading to his death as well.