Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has tasked police and other security agencies in the state to mop up arms and ammunition reportedly stockpiled by some members of Ipetumodu and Ashipa communities, who are engaged in violent struggle over land.
Aregbesola said this while holding a peace meeting with leaders of the two warring communities in Osogbo on Monday night.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the representatives of warring communities embraced one another and promised not to engage in any fight after the peace meeting.
At the meeting were the Apetu of Ipetumodu, Oba James Adegoke and the representative of the Alashipa of Ashipa, Ojediran Olaleke, chiefs and leaders of the township associations of both communities.
Gov. Aregbesola said that the directive to security agencies to mop up the illegal weapons would ensure that those who might have intention of renewing violence did not have the means to carry out their plans.
The governor, however, blamed the two communities for engaging in violence while warning that anyone caught breaching the peace would be severely dealt with according to the dictates of the law.
He said, “Security agencies should comb the nooks and crannies of the communities to recover arms that are not licenced in house-to-house search to forestall further use of weapons in future”.
The statement also noted that the governor promised to set up a committee to look deeply into the immediate and remote cause as well as the solution to the problems identified by the leaders of the two communities.
Aregbesola said, “It is so sad that this is happening at a point that investors are coming into the state on a daily basis and your communities have decided to solve your differences through fight which we have all seen here as unnecessary.
“With the on-going clash in your domains commercial activities have been brought to a halt and property destroyed, student who have nothing in your dispute are made to bear the brunt by the burning of their hostel. Why should students be given the opportunity to have a bad impression about your communities?
“I am not happy that this is happening in our land, it doesn’t send a good signal, shooting of gun doesn’t resolve dispute. We should find a lasting solution to these happenings.
“Things like a market day should not cause problem. I want to use this opportunity to beg the two communities to allow peace to reign from now on, we should maintain status quo till the committee we are going to set up come out with recommendations.
“Henceforth, any of the two communities found wanting will be seriously dealt with, because we will not allow anything short of peace and security in the state”, he added.