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Residents flee as Osun communities clash again

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Many residents of Ifon and Ilobu towns in Osun State on Monday fled their homes following reported bloody clashes involving hoodlums from the two communities.

The cause of the present hostility was not immediately clear, but security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told PUNCH Online that militias from the two communities clashed in villages on the border of Osun and Oyo States before the fight spread to the towns.

Ilobu and Ifon had been engaging in bloody clashes over boundary issues over the years.

The state government, in October 2023, imposed a 24-hour curfew on the communities after the clashes led to loss of lives and destruction of property.

The curfew was lifted last December after the return of relative peace to the area.

Speaking on the latest incident, the Otun Jagun of Ilobu, Leke Ogunsola, told journalists that hoodlums from Ifon attacking Ilobu farmers in Ologele and Aganna villages, shot dead a farmer, while others were injured.

But the Secretary, Ifon Progressive Union Board of Trustees, Jide Akinyooye, alleged that hoodlums from Ilobu attacked indigenes of the town and injured many of them.

During an interview, a resident of Ilobu, identified simply as Oladotun, who fled the town to take refuge in Osogbo, told  PUNCH Online that business outlets were hurriedly shut down when news of the clashes in the villages spread to the two towns.

He said, “I have to leave with my family. We are currently in a church in Osogbo where we will pass the night. Most people around my house in Ilobu have fled their homes too for fear of attack. The fight started in villages at the Osun boundary with Oyo State.

“A village called Wale was razed down. There were also clashes around Idiroko and Iranin villages. We learnt two persons were killed too. But many people fled their homes in both Ilobu and Ifon to avoid being caught in the crossfire.”

The Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, said personnel had been deployed to the area to prevent escalation.

She said, “We have deployed men to the communities. We are already working on the issues. I will brief you on further development.”

Speaking in a similar vein, the spokesperson for the Osun Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Kehinde Adeleke, also said the command had deployed its armed squad to the area, said there were bloody clashes.

She could not, however, confirm if any casualty had been recorded.

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