Governor Ademola Adeleke on Friday embarked on marathon peace consolidation efforts among the previously warring communities of Ilobu and Ifon, hosting three town hall meetings till late in the evening.
The spokesperson to Osun State Governor, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, in a statement said the Governor was accompanied by heads of security agencies and top administration officials to Ilobu, Ifon and Erin Osun.
The Governor reviewed the outcome of the previous security meetings with the royal fathers and community leaders in the affected towns.
In each of the towns, the traditional leaders submitted their own version of the stories and their preparedness to submit a list of members of the peace committee set up at the State Security stakeholders meeting.
The interactive session further provided the state government with clearer perspectives on the conflict and further equipped the state security leadership with better insights into conflict de-escalation and ongoing peace building among the communities.
In separate addresses at each of the town hall meetings, Governor Adeleke harped on peace as a condition for development, reaffirming the resolve of his administration to find a lasting solution to the recurring conflict.
The Governor reassured the communities that he has identified several factors responsible for the confrontation namely lack of trust among the community leaders, non- existence of inter-communal peace structures, involvement of criminal elements and infiltration by external forces from within and outside the state.
The Governor further told the local leaders and town people that he is committed to the implementation of the resolutions reached at the stakeholders’ meeting and challenged all signatories to abide by the conclusions.
According to Governor Adeleke, the resolutions and other political strategies already adopted by his administration would tackle the root causes of the clashes, repeating his resolve to deal harshly with those behind the communal unrest.
“I am here to preach peace as a condition for development and better lives for our people. I am here to warn that there is no room for war mongers and sponsors of violence. It is in everybody’s interest for peace to reign permanently in these communities.
“If you don’t know, your needless confrontations are scaring investors away from Osun. Don’t allow yourself to become agents of under-development. Let us jaw-jaw instead of war.
“I charge you all to sheath your swords and embrace dialogue. Instead of blood shedding and destruction of properties, why not join hands to build a prosperous society. Our administration will reinforce and sustain peace at all costs. Join the Imole peace move now”, the Governor said to the cheering applause of community leaders and residents.
Governor Adeleke was accompanied on the tour by the National Vice Chairman of the PDP for the South West zone, Hon Kamar Ajisafe; the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Oluomo Kolapo Alimi; the Special Adviser on Security, Mr Samuel Ojo; the Special Adviser on Transportation, Hon Moshood Yakub and other top officials.