By Tunde Oyekola in Osogbo
*Gives one-week ultimatum for submission and disarmament
*Receives reports of inquiry over communal clash
In a bid to rid the state of communal violence and other anti-social vices threatening the peace of communities, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday read the riot act to people in possession of illegal weapons to voluntarily surrender such arms to relevant authorities.
Aregbesola said those concerned and had been in habitual breach of the peace and trampling on the rule of law to prepare themselves ahead of the May 29, hand over after which they would enjoy one-week of grace which would be called a week of peace and disarmament.
This was even as the Governor disclosed that his government set up a Standing Commission of Inquiry in the state to regularly review all cases of abuse of power or status that may threaten peace and harmonious relationship in the state.
The governor gave stated these while receiving the report of by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the state to look into the crises between Ipetumodu and Ashipa communities in Ife-North Local government of Osun at the Government House in Osogbo.
Aregbesola also called on politicians and people with those he called “Private Army” and guards to immediately disband such structures as the state is entering an era where it will be strict on the maintenance of rule of law, peace and order and the guarantee of the rights of the citizen.
The communities of Ipetumodu and Ashipa had engaged in an orgy of violence and were on the path of mutual destruction before the intervention of law enforcement agencies, the state government and other leaders.
He held that people should exhibit maturity in making claims to land so that communities will not witness violence that will diminish human existence.
The governor advised that differences on land should not lead to violence due to the fact that there will always be claims and counter claims on land hence the need for a matured way of resolving such issues.
According to him, “People with illegal weapons should voluntarily submit it to relevant authorities in not more than one week from now before government begins into fish them out.
“People should live to the dictate of the law, our government will after the one-week ultimatum embark on house-to-house search for illegal weapons so that the state can have peace.
“Whoever is caught after the one week deadline will face the full wrath of the law because we are not in a stone age. The state will care for the weak. We are admonishing the strong to be mindful of those that are not strong.
“We are entering an era in the state and the country at large, where government of All Progressives Congress (APC) will be strict on the issue of rule of law, maintenance of peace and order and the guarantee of rights of citizens”.
He charged people of the state to at all times, result to Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) rather than result to violence and arson when issues like land dispute arise.
Aregbesola appealed to people of the state to eschew bitterness in their relationships and promote peace at all times, saying, Osun people being “Omoluabi” should be ambassadors of peace, progress and harmony.
The governor also directed that all market places in the state that encroach on the road must be moved away immediately.
“Markets are not supposed to be on the road tough Local governments have the right to close roads for market but market must not be struggling with vehicular movement”.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Judicial commission of inquiry into Ipetumodu-Ashipa communal crisis, Justice Oyejide Falola, urged the governor to set up implementation committee to review the recommendations.
The committee recommended payment of compensation to victims and noted that the two communities should be surcharged to pay certain amount for officially sponsoring and supporting the crises morally and materially.
It also recommended that Ife-North local government should also be surcharged for allowing the establishment of market in Ipetumodu on a government acquired land without approval from the state government.
He said, “We have virtually resolved the dispute between the two communities especially the market day issue and boundary. We have also recommended that some persons be investigated and possible prosecution.
“There is a proliferation of arms and ammunition in the axis of the two communities. Those in possession are reportedly being protected by elites in the society. We have recommended that police should take steps to clean up the area of these dangerous weapons,” the commission’s chairman disclosed.
Meanwhile, Aregbesola, during the submission of report by the Standing Commission, which look into disturbances of Public Peace in the state, headed by Justice Adeigbe, observed that from May 29 his government will ensure a strict adherence to the rule of law.
He stated that individuals, who glorify in unleashing terror and violence on the society are not fit to cohabit with people in a lawful society.