Three feared killed in Ajayi Okasanmi, communities’ clash
Three persons were yesterday feared killed during a clash between Odo-Owa and Iloffa communities in Oke Ero Local Council of Kwara State.
The clash reportedly arose from disagreement over who has the right to first sell yams harvested from the farm of the traditional rulers of the two communities. The clash was the second in two years between the two communities.
It was gathered that one of the traditional rulers had felt offended that his colleague was already at the market selling his own yams without deferring to his own alleged seniority. The two communities have a common market located to serve as border between them.
One of those reportedly killed was a young graduate who had escorted his wife to the market. Several houses were also razed during the clash while many residents have fled the area into neighbouring communities.
The market had been built as a buffer zone following series of clashes between the two communities. They have been at loggerheads over seniority between the two of them and a recent grading of one of the traditional rulers to a first class status was said to have angered indigenes of the other community.
The tradition, according to those familiar with the two communities, was that on any market day, the traditional ruler from one of the communities would have to first sell yams from his farm, under the supervision of the market leader, before any other person would display his or her own yams for sale.
“That was what happened yesterday. One of the Obas was at the market selling his yams when his colleague got wind of it and walked straight to the market and challenged him leading to the crisis,” a source in the area said.
“As I am talking to you, they are still shooting and burning houses”, lamenting that the recurring crisis between the two communities must be properly addressed by government.
Spokesman for the state police command, ASP Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the development, but said the command was yet to ascertain the level of casualties. He, however, explained that security operatives have been deployed to the communities to keep the peace.