By Mumini AbdulKareem
The communal crisis rocking Odo-Owa in Oke-Ero Local Government Area of Kwara State took a new twist, yesterday, as no fewer than eight communities dissociated themselves from the community.
The aggrieved parties and communities in a document sighted by National Pilot, last night, declined and denounce being addressed as part of the collective name hitherto called Odo-Owa.
The communities are Egosi, Imode, Ikotun, Igbede, Iloffa, Kajola, Owa and Ila.
Other prayers sought that the communities should be identified and addressed in their individual capacities, adding that an all-inclusive name to represent the communities of Igbede, Ikotun, Ila, Kajola and Owa, which made up 89 per cent of the all-inclusive ‘Odo-Owa’ is abrogated.
The document added that plans are underway to invite relevant arms of government to work out modalities to share all existing joint assets while also pledging their continued loyalty to government and constituted authorities.
The aggrieved monarchs said they completely dissociate themselves and communities from the series of attacks perceived to have been carried out under the collective name of Odo-Owa.
Signatories to the document include the Osolo Onigbede of Igbede, Oba Johnson Aina, Edemorun of Kajola, Oba Joseph Oyewole, Obadofin of Ikotun, Oba David Omope and Ila of Ila Ojigi, Oba Peter Oyerinde, among others.
Meanwhile, the Oloota of Odo-Owa, Oba Joshua Adeyemi Adimula, has described the agitation as a mirage which will never materialise.
Adimula, who spoke with this medium last night in a telephone chat, said the aggrieved parties should vacate their present territories if they really want to secede.
According to him “Autonomy is not for the Kabiyesi, if they want to be on their own, then they should vacate the land they presently occupy which was given to them by the Oloota back in the days.
“What they are agitating for is a mirage that will never materialise. The case is before the Commissioner of Police and other relevant authorities.
“Some of the agitating communities will have to move over five miles from their present location and Ila-Ojigi is not a community but only a compound. Our common name here is Odo-Owa and it was built on love and trust. Anybody who wants to secede should vacate their present place.
“They are working for Ilofa and they think what they are doing will affect the report of the Panel of Enquiry set up by the government to look into the issue, which will commence implementation of the recommendations after the release of the report. But I have confidence in the members of the commission that the needful would be done.
“They want to provoke me by their action and publications, but there is no cause for alarm,” he added.
Recall that the Oloota has been involved in chieftaincy dispute with the traditional heads in the community over status of their stools.
The crisis had degenerated to fracas that engulfed the community over the celebration of a masquerade (Egungun) festival which allegedly led to sporadic shooting and destruction of property.