- ‘We want him dead or alive’
More than eleven years after the mysterious disappearance of their son, the family of Jelili Olatunde has yet to recover from the trauma.
Thirty-six-year-old Jelili had since 2005 got missing following an intercommunal clash over a piece of land he had bought in Ilobu, the administrative headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State.
His family members have insisted that his sudden disappearance since then had been causing them serious agony.
Curiously, the missing Jelili had earlier lost his twin brother, Jamiu Olatunde, to the violence resulting from the land dispute on June 22, 2005, a few days before Jelili himself got missing in the town.
Speaking with our correspondent in Osogbo on Monday, the head of the Olatunde family, Pa Lasisi Olatunde, who was flanked by other members, said since Jelili got missing in 2005, the family had been in pain and anguish.
Pa Olatunde said that their hope of finding the missing man was raised recently, when news filtered in that some people had relevant information on how he could be located.
On the circumstances surrounding Jelili’s mysterious disappearance in 2005, Pa Olatunde said their son got missing after an inter-communal clash over a parcel of land he bought in Ilobu town. Violence had broken out over the ownership of the land between the indigenes of Ilobu, where Jelili lived and the people of Ifon, a neighbouring town.
Explaining further, the family head said, “Our son, Olatunde Jelili, was born on May 5,1980. He is an indigene of Erin Osun, but he was residing in Apiponroro area of Ilobu, Osun State. He got missing on 22nd June, 2005 and has not been found since then. Our son (Jelili Olatunde) purchased 4 plots of land in Apiponroro Area of Ilobu, near the boundary with Ifon Osun.
“The first crisis over the land occurred on 22nd June, 2005, which led to the death of Jelili’s twin brother, Jamiu Olatunde. Since year 2005, Jelili is nowhere to be found”
“The land suddenly became a cause of communal crisis between the residents of Ifon and Ilobu communities in Osun.
“The first crisis over the land occurred on 22nd June, 2005, which led to the death of Jelili’s twin brother, Jamiu Olatunde. Since year 2005, Jelili is nowhere to be found.
“Despite all our efforts, we are still looking for him till this moment. Our hope that we would find him was raised when we heard that some people in the state have relevant information about his whereabouts. Whether dead or alive, we want to know.
“He bought the land in question from one notable politician in Ilobu. Unknown to Jelili, a crisis had sometimes in October 2013 erupted over that same land, which also claimed lives.
“We are begging anyone with relevant information to locate us at Ajijedidun area of Erin Osun or report at the nearest police station,” Pa Olatunde said.
He also said the matter was reported to the police in the state, adding that the force made efforts in searching for Jelili but did not succeed then.
According to Pa Olatunde, some residents of the town had advised them to appeal to people between the communities because they had information on Jelili’s whereabouts.
Also, some community leaders in Erin Osun, a town in Orolu local government area of the state have joined their voices with the missing Jelili’s family, pleading with residents of the state with relevant information about Jelili to come forward with such.