Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has warned residents of Ife and Modakeke communities not to give communal colouration to the recent killing of farmers.
Ile-Ife and Modakeke have a long history of land-related communal clashes spanning decades.
Five farmers from Modakeke were reportedly killed last week by gunmen while they were going to their farms, which made residents of Ile-Ife to hurriedly shut their shops and offices for fear of reprisal from Modakeke people.
The monarch in a statement by Moses Olafare, the palace’s director of media and public affairs, described the killing as “sheer criminality” and warned the people against fueling embers of discord between the two communities.
The monarch said the perpetrators of the act of criminality were not representing any community and would only be treated as criminals.
He said, “While some mischief makers tried to link the criminality to the long-resolved Ife/Modakeke dispute, the Palace of Ife wishes to state unequivocally that what happened at Toro village was sheer criminality and the long hand of the law will soon catch up with the perpetrators,” the statement reads.
“It is in the public knowledge that the country like its counterparts across the world is being confronted by security challenges, which would soon be a thing of the past with the cooperation of all, especially we, the citizens.
“Attempts to add communal colouration to the crime with an attempt to distract security operatives from unveiling the evil minds behind the devilish act by some mischief makers is already known to security operatives who are on top of the matter.”
The monarch commended security agents for sustaining peace in the community.
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The Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a suspected ritualist, Isaac Ezekiel, for allegedly plucking the eyes of a 16-year-old boy, Uzairu Salisu.
Two accomplices, Nensok Bawa, 38, and Yohana Luka, aka Doctor Samu, 52, were also arrested in connection with the crime, which happened at Yelwa community, in the Bauchi area of the state.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident happened around 9am on June 24 when Ezekiel lured Salisu to do a casual job for him on a farm in the community.
Salisu was said to be doing the job when the suspect allegedly used a wire to strangulate him till he lost consciousness.
Afterwards, the 32-year-old reportedly used a knife to pluck out the two eyes of the minor and abandoned him on the farm.
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The ward head, Mohammed Lawal, who was among the people who found the minor writhing in pain, alerted the police to the incident.
The victim was said to have identified Ezekiel as the culprit, leading to his arrest.
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