By Sola Jacobs
The resolved communal clash between Ipetumodu and Asipa community in Ife North Local Government Council Area of the State of Osun over land ownership which led to loss of lives and properties, have continued to build acrimony and strained relationship among the people of the affected communities, even after normalcy had returned.
Sometimes in 2015, what ordinarily seems as land dispute between two families in Ipetumodu and Asipa snowballed into full scale bloody clash. The crisis was renewed in February, 2017, with another bloody clash, leaving people dead and some homeless.
The intervention of the state government and the law enforcement agents stopped the rage and put an end to senseless destruction of life and properties.
Though, the matter had been laid to rest, but post-clash trauma and hatred still persist in both communities.
OSUN DEFENDER visit to the communities showed that life had returned to both communities, but both had their losses to count, while the acrimony still exist just as the fear of another attack has not totally faded off.
This was evident as commercial motorcyclists and mini-buses drivers on the main junction leading to the two communities, Moro junction who are indigenes of the two communities have been declining offer to carry passengers to the other communities.
One of the motorcyclist, during a discussion confided in OSUN DEFENDER that the other cyclists who have declined to go to Asipa were indigene of Ipetumodu, saying, “They will not like to take you to Asipa because of the communal clash that happened two years ago and this year for fear of another attack”.
He said, since the crisis, while commercial motorcyclists and mini-buses drivers from Ipetumodu have been avoiding Asipa, those from Asipa have been avoiding Ipetumodu as well.
Besides, going through Yakooyo, enroute Ipetumodu to Asipa, the scars of the communal clash were glaring, as burnt properties in Okoko area still stand not renovated.
Speaking with a middle-aged man who identified himself as Tope Olatunji about the aftermath of the clash, he noted that life has not been the same since the communal clash, saying, “My mother is from Ipetumodu and my father from Asipa, but the clash had led to their separation, because my mum lives among his people, while I live with my father and other siblings.
At the popular Asipa market which is a five-day market, often patronised by traders across the state, Mrs Felicia Akinremi a shop owner at the market said, the patronage in the famous market had dropped, as traders prefer to patronise Akinola market in Ipetumodu community because of its accessibility through Ife/Ibadan road than Asipa market saying, this has taken toll on the commercial activities.
She stated that the presence of Obafemi Awolowo University Pre-degree centre, the Foreign Link Institution and the Oduduwa University had been a blessing to both Moro and Ipetumodu communities.
According to her, these opportunities had eluded Asipa community, as traders still entertain fear about the repeat of clash between the two communities.
Mrs Akinremi however encouraged traders to patronise Asipa market, saying the issue of communal clash had been laid to rest.
A landlord , Pa Adeyanju at Oke-Odo area, Asipa lamented that despite the cheaper house rent in the community, students were still afraid to patronise the community, recalling that the situation was not so before the clash.
He hinted that the students who lived in Asipa before the clash had relocated to Ipetumodu because they believed it was safer to stay in the community where their schools are located.
Also, an Ipetumodu High Chief, Johnson Oyelakin said, the communal clash had its lessons, saying, “what is needed for the development of our societies is peace, and we can see, peace is evident in Ipetumodu; we have Hausas and Igbo community here and we live peacefully.
“The communal clash between us and Asipa is over, and we have moved on; despite various attempt made to close down our main market using government apparatus, the market has been thriving, as people come as far as Ore, Ondo state, Ibadan, Lagos and Akure every Friday to trade in our market.
Though, the people of both communities had realised the clash had cause loss of lives and properties, but the trauma of broken marriages and relationships, economic loss and migration of youth from both communities still persist.