The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has been caught in an audio recording where he threatened to destroy Ikale land in Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that Akeredolu made the threat at the palace of Abodi of Ikale land, Oba George Faduyile, where he tongue-lashed the monarch over the communal clash at Ago-Alaye between the Ikales and the people of Araromi-Obu in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state.
In the audio recording the governor fumed, “What happened in Ago-Alaye must not repeat itself and it will not. And if anybody tries it, I’m saying it now, I will level that place, nothing will happen.
“How? people live with themselves for years and some people will just start burning down houses. How can we live like this?
“Kabiyesi, the Deputy Governor has called you for a meeting twice and you refused to show up. I’ve deployed security personnel to Ago-Alaye and nobody will be allowed to move until you (Abodi) curb those perpetrating the atrocities. And if care is not taken it will be forever. We’ll do it and nothing will happen. This is government.
“How? People will just wake up, destroy people’s property and maim them, how? How do we do this?
“Even if the whole of Ondo State belongs to you (Abodi) we’ll chase ourselves over what?
“Kabiyesi, I just felt with all reluctance to come here. Even when I called you on phone, you said the line was bad. I got information that meetings were called and you did not come, the Deputy Governor said it and others came. You claimed to be observing a traditional festival that forbids you from coming out. If that is true or not, I don’t want to know about it, because I don’t know about any festival that will not allow one to come out.
With all respect sir, with due respect that is why I had to call your son, Dayo who is close to me to call you to order.
“Today we’re here, the government must be there to protect the lives and properties of the citizens, no matter where they are.
We (government) are not scared. We have said what we wanted to say. On the day of election, if you (Ikales) wish, don’t give us your votes, no problem about that. And if we lose the election, we will go back to where we came from. We are not scared. What are we scared about? Nothing.
“We’re here to serve you people and when we’re done, we’ll go our own way. It is not a must you like us. We have nothing to lose. We are not scared of anyone. We say things the way it is.
“Warn your people. Any repeat of it will get devastating.”
Expressing dismay over the governor’s outburst, the Jagunmolu of Ikale land, Gen Oluyemi Bajowa (rtd) described Akeredolu’s attitude at the palace of Abodi as overbearing and as that of executive rascality.
His words, “I was at the palace of Abodi of Ikale Land when the Ondo State Governor visited. I was shocked and horrified at the Governor’s public display and pronouncement of power, devoid of decency and protocol, by taking the Abodi of Ikale Land and other Ikale traditional rulers present, to the cleaners. He threatened to instruct the security services to level to the ground Ago Alaye and other Ikale villages in Araromi-Obu and its environs; he also threw caution to the wind, by boasting that he does not need Ikale votes for his re-election!”
Reacting to the development, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information Donald Ojogo stated that, “It is an unfair statement if anyone says the Governor is biased in his handling of the crisis.
“Recall that he visited both areas and appealed for calm even as he deployed armed security to the affected conflict zone. That singular act of swift response by the governor stemmed the crisis, especially as it avoided reprisal attacks from either community.”
For the past three weeks, Ago-Alaye has been the focal point of clashes between the people of Araromi-Obu in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state and their Ikale neighbour in Okitipupa Local Government over the ownership of land after an Ondo State High Court ruled in favour of the Ikales as the real owners of the disputed land.
The unrest subsequently led to a 24-hour curfew placed on the community by Governor Akeredolu on July 17 in order to prevent the continued breakdown of law and order.
A panel of enquiry has also been set up by the governor to look into the July 16 crisis between the Ikales and the people of Araromi-Obu.
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