By Temitope Adedeji
No fewer than six people lost their lives in a renewed communal clash that evolved between the loyalists of Olu of Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, and the family of late Titi Olalebi.
The late Lebi was gruesomely murdered two years ago by people suspected to be loyalists of Olu of Igbokoda.
The monarch and 10 others are currently standing trial in a law court over the death of the deceased. The Tuesday crisis, according to the counsel to the Lebi family, Barrister Koboju Atima, started at about 11 pm when some thugs again suspected to be loyalists of the Olu of Igbokoda invaded the house of one Tale Iwatan at Temitan Community.
They said Iwatan is a cousin to the late Titi Olalebi. Atima alleged that the violence was masterminded by the monarch.
He said the hoodlums arrived Iwatan family house with guns and other dangerous weapons shooting sporadically, and consequently set two houses belonging to the Iwatan’s family ablaze, when they couldn’t abduct him.
Atima further alleged that two vehicles belonging to the Iwatan family members were burnt into ashes by the hoodlums.
The bone of contention, according to the counsel, was the resistance of Tale Iwatan to Oba Odidimo’s alleged desperation to forcefully take over the Iwatan family land located in the town. The counsel said the attack was the second of its kind in the last six months.
Speaking on the issue, Oba Odidiomo denied sponsoring the attack as alleged by the Iwatan family. He said the crisis erupted as a result of the abduction of his errand boys. “I’m a man of peace, how can I mastermind violence in my domain.
What actually happened was that I sent one of my boys on an errand and when we couldn’t find him, we reported the case to the police. His corpse was later found somewhere in the town.
“The search party later went with the police to recover the corpse but in process the unexpected happened when some thugs suddenly opened fire on them killing 6 people on the spot,” he said.