The long-standing conflict between communities in the Irepodun and Orolu local government areas of Osun State over land appears to have reignited. This persistent land dispute has resulted in significant loss of lives and property.
For over 16 years, communities like Ifon, Ilobu, and Erin-Osun have been involved in violent clashes, leading to tragic consequences.
Efforts by previous administrations, including former Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to resolve the crisis through gazetted resolutions have been unsuccessful.
The recent crisis in September 2023 between Okanla and Ilobu escalated when Okanla declared allegiance to Ifon, resulting in fatalities and property destruction.
In another incident, early morning killings in Ifon triggered further unrest, taking security forces by surprise.
A key point of contention is a 2014 gazette issued by the Aregbesola administration. Ifon stakeholders claim that influential individuals from Ilobu manipulated the gazette in their favor, leading to the current crisis.
The communities are divided in their approach to resolving the issue. The Ifon-Orolu Progressive Union seeks the recall of the 2014 gazette and a roundtable discussion for a peaceful resolution. Meanwhile, Okanla residents appeal for recognition of their autonomous status.
Ilobu representatives assert that land cannot be forcibly taken from a community without consent, and they point to an ongoing court case initiated by Ifon.
Governor Ademola Adeleke has imposed a 24-hour curfew to restore order and has called for vigilance among security forces.
The Ifon-Orolu community has requested relaxation of the curfew, expressing its commitment to lasting peace and seeking assistance for those affected by the crisis.