By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA – The chiefs and elders of the coastal community of Makun-Omi in Ogun Waterside, Ogun State have denied the allegation by their neighbours in Atijere community in Ondo State that they invaded their community.
Residents of Atijere community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State on Wednesday reportedly staged a protest against alleged invasion by gunmen from Imakun Omi.
The protesters who allegedly stormed the Governor’s Office at Alagbaka, Akure, displayed placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘Ogun State targets Ilaje because of oil and bitumen deposits’; ‘We say no to annexation of Atijere land by Ogun State,’ among others.
But, in a swift reaction to the allegations, the elders and chiefs of Makun Omi refuted what they described as an attempt by the Atijere traditional ruler to distort the facts of what happened through misinformation and protests.
They called on the governments of Ogun and Ondo States to prevail on those fanning the embers of discord to embrace the option of peace and dialogue.
In a statement by the Olisa of Makun – Omi, Chief Shittu Lukman, the chiefs and elders said they never attacked Atijere contrary to what some youths want the world to believe during their protest at the Government House, Akure, on Wednesday.”
Shittu further said allegation that gunmen from Makun-Omi attacked Atijere community, was false, and a complete misrepresentation of the position of things.
The statement read in part, “After the present harassment and intimidation of Makun-Omi people by the traditional ruler and a few elements of Atijere community, Makun-Omi resolved to take the path of peace by promptly reporting the situation to government and relevant security agencies.
“Consequently, soldiers and anti-riot policemen were drafted to the two communities to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
“We are therefore surprised by the series of propaganda and imaginary attacks being spread, particularly by the Oba of Atijere.
“The Council of Chiefs and Elders of Makun-Omi wishes to state categorically that Makun-Omi indigenes never attacked the Palace or any house in Atijere.
“Instead, it was the Atijere militants that completely burnt down two villages belonging to Makun-Omi after chasing out the indigenes and had an open show of strength in two speedboats on the waterfront of Makun-Omi, with a promise to come back for proper attack.
“As peace loving people, we urge the governments of Ogun and Ondo States to please prevail on the few influential war mongers and trigger happy elements in Atijere to embrace the option of peace and dialogue.”
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