Suspected Modakeke gunmen murder Ife prince, injure others – ‘war still on,’ according to accounts

Suspected Modakeke gunmen murder Ife prince, injure others – ‘war still on,’ according to accounts


All hell broke loose Tuesday at Wanisani village in Ile-Ife, Osun state, as a prince of Ife (of the Adesoji royal family), simply identified as Chief Adesoji Josiah Adedire, was murdered in an attack launched by some assailants alleged to be of Modakeke origin.

Multiple sources said the attack was a premeditated one and that two other villagers were murdered in a neighbouring community, Alofe.

Furthermore, a house and the late Chief Adedire’s bicycle were burnt during the attack while many others were injured.


Mr Samuel, a close associate of the late Chief Adedire, who narrowly escaped death during the attack, said, “The attack was intentional and gory, those who escaped were severely injured.”

“The assailants came with guns, cutlasses, and other weapons,” Mr. Ademiju Dare, a relative of the late Chief Adedire, who was also present during the attack, similarly informed.

Continuing, he said, “I don’t know where civilians would see such calibre of weapons they brought with them. The guns were sophisticated.”

The attack was one of the countless ones frequently reported along the same axis of Toro village, which were claimed to being perpetrated by assailants of Modakeke origin.

According to information,, the deceased, Mr Dare, Mr Samuel and three others were together at the venue when the attack was launched though Dare made a clarification that only Samuel and the late chief were together as he had left to cater for his pigs.

Wanisani and some other communities in the axis are said to be the heritage of the royal family and its land cultivated for farming.

Samuel confirmed that the late Chief Adedire was with him when sporadic gunshots were heard, but “We thought the assailants would not come to Wanisani village.”

Samuel and the deceased immed went to hide, he added. “But when they saw, Baba Ghana, a Ghanaian palm wine seller, within the village, coming their way, they came out of hiding to ask him about the cause of the gunshots.”


Samuel recalled that Baba Ghana said, “The gunshots were from the Modekekes but they were just passing. I saw them.”

However, not long after Baba Ghana left them, the assailants surfaced and in the melee mowed down Chief Adedire while running away on his bicycle.

“As we heard the sound of guns, we hid ourselves but when we saw Baba Ghana, we came out to ask him what was happening. He said there was nothing. That Modakeke assailants were just passing, that was why they shot into the air. We never knew they had started coming. It was not less than 5 minutes when Baba Ghana left, we saw a group of people from afar. It was even Baba Oloye (the late Chief Adedire) that saw them. But before he could stand up to start his bike and move, they started shooting him,” Dare said.

Our reporter confirmed that Chief Adedire’s body was severely mutilated.

One of the sons of the late Chief Adedire, Aremu Adedire, said “This is not the first, second, or third time that the Modakeke people would come and wreak havoc along the axis.”

The corpse

Both Dare and Samuel’s accounts pointed at Baba Ghana as a prime suspect and spy of the Modakeke in Wanisani village.

According to them, after the incident, Baba Ghana was arrested and he confessed to knowing all the assailants some of whom he mentioned as O’stand, Muhideen Ede, Owoniyi Segun aka Agbede alongside others.

But no arrests had been made. The Osun Police Command promised to visit the crime scene, since last Tuesday but haven’t, Aremu Adedire said.


Meanwhile, a more bizarre event unfolded after the horrendous attack. The assailants after the lynching of the late Chief Adedire, took his corpse away.

Mr Dare said a call was put through to Modakeke palace before the corpse was later released through the same Baba Ghana who pointed out the possible area where the corpse could be.

Dare said Baba Ghana was arrested and all his accounts were given at the Police Station, Osogbo on Wednesday, the day the corpse of the late chief was seen with the two hands cut off.

Osun Police mum
The Nigerian Police Force, Osun command, have denied the existence of the homicide case alleged to have been perpetrated by the assailants in Wanisani, last Tuesday.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, said that it was Modakeke who alleged Ile-Ife residents of murder, not the other way round.

“Which homicide? I don’t understand what you’re telling me, because it was Modakeke that alleged Ife, so when you’re now saying Ife alleged Modakeke…Thank you for the information, I am not aware of that, I am not aware,” Yemisi Opalola said.

The attack brings back old memories of the war

To Dare, the Modakeke and Ile-Ife wars are still on. He said those who came to attack were not hoodlums, they were Modakeke warriors.

“We don’t have boundaries but they’ve been saying that all Ife indigenes on their lands will be chased away. That land is a family land and it is where all our economic produce lie. They’ve been frequent on the land. Last three years, they came to remove roofing sheets, last year, they came to attack. Most of us narrowly escaped. Their major reason is probably because they want to chase us away from that place, you know when they kill people there, others will be too scared to stay. Like now, for two weeks we’re unable to go there for our work.”

The Ife-Modakeke inter-communal crisis ( began many years ago. For historians, seven major violent clashes have been recorded between them; 1835-1849, 1882-1909, 1946- 1949, 1981, 1983, 1997-1998, and 2000.

Multiple records revealed the causes such as cultural identity, economics, and politics related to land ownership, payment of land rent (Isakole), creation of local government, and location of its headquarters.

The Ile-Ife community considered the Modakekes as visitors who migrated to the area following the collapse of the Old Oyo empire in the 19th century.

The indigenes of the former were dominating the latter and that was the major underlying factor in the crisis between the two Yoruba groups that have led to the slaughter of thousands of people.

The last major crisis was agitation by the Modakekes for a local government council of their own in the 1990s. The military junta of the late Sani Abacha granted their wish by creating Ife East Local Government out of the former Ife North and Ife Central local governments in 1997.

For Ile-Ife indigenes, they wanted the headquarters of the new council in their part of town but the Modakeke people objected, saying they demanded the creation of the new local government.

This was objected to by Modakeke residents who alleged injustice. This led to a full-blown crisis and the killings of hundreds of people from both sides. There was also the destruction of hundreds of houses, cars, and other properties.


HumAngle ( findings revealed that aside from relocating the local administration headquarters, all other recommendations are yet to be made a reality.

Although peace has relatively returned to the two communities, many victims of the violence still live with the trauma. Our reporter also gathered that the crisis seems “unending” as both communities continue to record attacks on their farms, just like it happened last Tuesday.

But there are separate committees in the two communities working to ensure peace in order not to allow attacks on farms and boundaries leading to massive deaths and destructions of properties as recorded in the ‘90s.

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