Ajah, the hotbed of communal crisis for years, may not have peace in days to come as Ilaje youths, who were brutally attacked on Wednesday by Ajah indigenes, have vowed to avenge the death of their people. The clash occurred on Wednesday after a disagreement over tolls at motor parks, as the two parties laid claim to control of the parks.
Ajah indigenes alleged that the Ilajes are settlers and as such have no right over toll collection in the area, adding that they could only be co-opted through the indigenes permission. The argument led to a face-off whereby dangerous weapons were used. As the dust settled down, three people from Ilaje and about 12 houses were burnt by Ajah indigenes. Sunday Sun, however, gathered authoritatively that Ilaje youths were not happy over the death of their brethren and have vowed to unleash reprisal attacks. Sources among Ilaje youths, who preferred anonymity, stated that unless adequate compensations were paid for those killed, Ajah would boil again anytime.
“We will avenge our people’s death. We are all Nigerians. They can be claiming that we are still settlers in a place we have lived for many years and contributed a lot to its development,” said one of the sources. To ward off possible reprisal attacks, it was gathered that several meetings have been held by the Ilaje youths and some elders.
While the elders were trying to calm frayed nerves, the youths were said to be spoiling for war and even seeking firepower to confront Ajah youths, who attacked them with all sorts of dangerous weapons, including guns. “We will fight back with anything,” said one of the youths. It was however, gathered that the traditional ruler of Ilaje community is making frantic efforts to avoid a reprisal attack, while police from divisions within the area are on standby to forestall possible breakdown of law and order. Meanwhile, it was gathered that Ajah youths are not taking anything for granted, as they are also mobilizing for possible attack.
They were said to be specifically angry over the fact that a traditional ruler of Ajah, Chief Muka Odugbese Abereoje, was arrested and taken to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti. Spokesman of the family, Chief Fatai Ojulari, said the traditional chief was going to make peace when he was attacked by some Ilaje youths, but was later arrested by the police who claimed he was among instigators of the crisis. “We are writing a petition to that effect,” Ojulari said.
While the crisis was on, a traditional ruler, Chief Ojupon of Ajah, was attacked and only escaped death by the whiskers. Paramount ruler of Ajah, Olumegbon of Ajah, Fatai Lawal, is said to have travelled out of the country, but is in constant touch with home since the ugly development. “He is in touch with us since the incident happened,” said a source.