The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has dismissed claims that the killing in Ile-Ife, Osun State was in furtherance of the now settled Ife-Modakeke crisis.
The Ooni spoke in a statement by his Director, Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, on Saturday.
Gunmen had on Friday killed five men heading to their farms in Ile-Ife.
The farmers were said to be from Modakeke.
Olafare said: “The palace of the Ooni of Ife on Friday morning received with great concern, news of the reported killing of some persons numbering about five at Toro village, Ile-Ife.
“Aside from condemning the unfortunate incident in strong terms, the Palace of the Ooni immediately reported the case to appropriate security authorities, who swung into action immediately.
“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.
“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 corporation of all especially we (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.
“While lauding government and security operatives including the Police, Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigeria Army, Vigilante groups and others for being responsive to the ugly situation and their immeasurable roles in sustaining the peace being enjoyed in the communities, the Ooni implores all abiding persons to carry on with their legitimate activities as perpetrators of acts of criminality are not representing any community and will only be treated as criminals.”