Protesting members of the Ifon-Orolu community in the Orolu local government area of Osun state have charged President Bola Tinubu to caution the Chief of Army Staff, General Taoreed Lagbaja from inciting communal crisis in the state.
Vanguard reports, protesters, who bore placards with inscriptions such as, “Lagbaja don’t incite communal crisis in Orolu/Irepodun”, “Tinubu call CAS to order”, “We are in a Democracy not Military Dictator”, walk from the regent’s palace to Olufon’s palace.
Addressing newsmen in front of the palace, the Regent, who doubles as the Eesa of Ifon, Chief Babatunde Oyetunji said the community is not averse to developmental projects, but it will not allow its land to be taken forcefully for the sake of its neighbouring community.
“Our attention has been drawn to the visitation of some Federal Government officials led by unidentified top Officers of The Nigerian Army that were received at the Palace of His Royal Highness Oba Ashiru Olaniyan, The Olobu of Ilobu in Irepodun Local Government area, Ilobu, Osun State. Our people in Orolu Local Government area also sighted the convoy of the same top Military Officials moving around Opapa Village in Gbere Odofin area of Orolu Local Government and some part of Eleesi’s Family land in Orolu Local Government, Ifon-Osun.
“Regrettably, it was noted that the convoy did not bother to pay a courtesy visit to either the Chairman of Orolu Local Government or The Olufon Regent. Such failure is worth noting because it is unusual and inappropriate to tour the ancestral land of the Ifon-Orolu Kingdom without notification or paying a courtesy homage call to the relevant authorities of the kingdom. We have also since discovered that the surreptitious purpose of the visit was to make an assessment of the particular location, where a Military Structure (either hospital or institution) can be built.
“We are fully aware that General Taoreed; The new Chief of Army Staff is an indigene of Ilobu in Irepodun Local Government of Osun State. While the people of Orolu Local Government are not opposed to any development in Irepodun & Orolu Local Government areas, any development project must be done in consultation with relevant stakeholders and especially those whose land would be used to host the projects.
“We are using this medium to caution against any attempt by the military to cause a communal clash in Irepodun and Orolu Kingdom. We also demand immediate explanation and clarifications from the office of the Chief of Army Staff or any other relevant Federal authority in respect of the visit to Orolu land by the military delegate without informing or consulting with the stakeholders”.
Also, the Board of Trustees Secretary, Ifon-Orolu Progressive Union, Prince Jide Akinyooye said President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly should hold General Lagbaja responsible if a communal clash erupts between Ilobu in Irepodun local government and Ifon-Orolu of Orolu local government in the state.
“We deem it fit to embark on this protest and address newsmen on the development by the military hierarchy in collaboration with Ilobu community before the situation escalated into full-blown communal clash. We are not against any kind of development project, but we must be carried along and terms agreed before anything is done on our ancestral land. Anything contrary would lead to crisis and the Chief of Army Staff should be held accountable for such crisis”, he added.