The crisis witnessed in Obada-Owode-Idi-Ayin ward in the newly created Oloka-Afon Local Council Development Authority (LCDA) last Thursday was not about the referendum exercise but about the claim of ownership of Obada.
Hon. Jemili Akingbade, member representing Imeko-Afon in the Ogun state House of Assembly, said that “the main grievance of the Imala people is that they are the owners of Obada land whereas the town is under Imeko Afon local government.
“We should rather appreciate what Governor Ibikunle Amosun has done by creating the LCDAs, instead of causing mayhem as done by the Imala people. To ensure is not swept under the carpet, I have written a petition to the Ogun state Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter and make sure the culprits are brought to book,” he said.
Akingabe made the clarification when he refuted accusations that he led thugs to disrupt the referendum.
He said that it was rather Imala youths with some hoodlums who disrupted the referendum exercise in the town.
He told correspondent in a telephone interview that Mr. Samuel Fabemi, the Referendum Officer alerted around 9a.m that referendum materials had been snatched by some hoodlums from Idi Emi.
The lawmaker said that following the information, he alerted the Divisional Police Officer the officer in charge of the State Security Service and the commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps at Imeko as well as the police border patrol team, of the fracas in Obada town.
“When I got wind of the mayhem being unleashed on the people at Obada and other polling units, I quickly alerted the DPO of Imeko, OC of SSS in the LG, the person in charge of NSCDC as well as the police border patrol team for assistance. They all moved to the scene, while NSCDC person called the assistant commander from Abeokuta who led a team there. After about two hours, I also moved to assess the situation myself. I met the security agents on ground; the DPO of Imeko then told me that the boys were fully armed.
“I then pacified our people that they should remain calm and not to attack anybody. I had to go out because the fracas happened in my constituency; I am also an indigene of Afon which is the headquarters of the proposed Oloka-Afon LCDA. I spoke with the referendum officer that they should try and produce another electoral materials in order to conduct the referendum in the affected areas but advised that they should avoid Ago Keesan which was the most volatile of the three locations. I did not spend up to 30 minutes before I left Obada. I was very surprised to read in the newspapers that I was the one who led hoodlums to disrupt the referendum and attack the Imala youth,” he said.
It could be recalled that the referendum the Ogun state House of Assembly directed as part of the conditions for the creation of the 37 proposed LCDAs suffered some chaos last Thursday.
Akingbade said that the question stakeholders’ should ask is what Imala youths came to do in Obada which is under Imeko-Afon local government.