Dayo Johnson Akure
Leaders of lfon in Ose council area of Ondo state have alleged that the police wanted to cover the gruesome murder of the first-class monarch, the Olufon of lfon, Oba lsreal Adeusi by herdsmen three months ago.
They alleged that rather than arrest his killers, the Police have invited the leaders of the community over the death of cows in a town outside their domain.
A former member of the House of Representative, Hon. Eni Olotu, High Chief Ekon, Chief Olijewu, Saliu Omotoso and the Chief Hunter of the community were reportedly invited to Abuja, over the death of a cow in a neighbouring community.
Addressing newsmen, the President of the Ifon Development Union, Chief Femi Awani said “the police invitation was based on a petition by one Abdullahi who claimed his cows were killed last month.
Awani said “it was surprising to them that the police are pursuing supposed killers of cows when it was yet to unravel those who killed their traditional ruler, the Olufon of Ifon since November last year.
According to him “those invited fell within the group of leaders temporarily holding fort following the death of Oba Adeusi.
He said another petition by one Alhaji Usman prompted the police to deploy men from the FIB Tactical Command Squad to ensure the invited leaders go to Abuja to answer the petition.
Awani noted that the thrust of the petition to the Force headquarters was not only about the killing of cows but alleged criminal conspiracy, mischief threat to life and attempted kidnapping.
He said what aroused curiosity was that the content of the letter inviting the leaders was at variance with the verbal narration of the policemen from Abuja.
Awani appealed to the IGP, Adamu Mohammed, to investigate the authenticity of the letter which they saw as a ploy to intimidate them and forestall attempts at protecting their land.
He wondered if the petition was not a ploy to release some herders who were arrested for kidnapping around the community.
“Once we are sure the letter is authentic, we will go to Abuja. We are law-abiding citizens. The allegations are weighty. It is a painful thing to us. We would have been protesting but we are peaceful people.”
The Aremo of Ifon, Adegoke Adeusi, said it was shameful that the police could not arrest killers of the Ifon monarch, but are chasing after supposed killers of a cow.
He asked: “who is to be arrested? Is it the killers of our Oba or those alleged to have killed cow?
”It is shameful. It is disgraceful. I was shocked when I heard that four of our leaders have been arrested to come and answer for the killing of a cow. It is a total injustice.
“An Oba was killed and they are now talking about the cow.”
In the same vein, a leader in the community, High Chief Joseph Ayayi said the place mentioned by the petitioner that the cow was killed belonged to another community.
”Where they killed the cow is not our land. They said we should go to Abuja to explain. We do not know anything about killing the cow.
”There was no fight. When they made an investigation and saw that the place is not our land, they invited our hunters, but the herder could not identify them as those responsible.
Ajayi said “After a month later, they invited us and gave us petition forms to fill. Our names were not in the petition, but they gave us forms to fill,”