By Victor Ogunje
As part of the efforts to ensure peace at the borders, especially in the border towns between Osun State and Ekiti States, the state governments have entered into a peace agreement for sustainable development in the areas.
The Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, disclosed this during a joint meeting of Ekiti and Osun States officials on interstate boundary organised by the National Boundary Commission in Osogbo, Osun State.
Egbeyemi and his Osun State counterpart, Mr. Benedict Alabi, expressed confidence that an amicable and lasting solution would be found to the lingering dispute in the communities located on the boundaries of the two sister states.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the peace parley was chaired by the Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Mr. Adamu Adaji.
The two deputy governors, who signed a seven-point communique at the end of the one-day meeting, appealed to the affected boundary communities to give peace a chance and refrain from actions that could lead to breakdown of law and order among them.
The deputy governors were joined by the Attorneys General/Commissioners of Justice of the two states, Mr. Wale Fapohunda (Ekiti) and Mr. Femi Akande (Osun); local government chairmen and traditional rulers of the affected communities.
Egbeyemi in his keynote address expressed concern that the people living along the boundaries of the two states had been operating under very stringent conditions because they had been restrained from engaging in developmental projects in the disputed areas.
He said: “While the two states are making frantic efforts to resolve the border problems, I wish to implore our people from both states to embrace peace and love, and avoid provocation that can escalate tension among border dwellers.
The Osun State Deputy Governor, Alabi, said the difference in the positions of the two states does not in any way suggests enmity, but it is a reflection of sound minds and certainty of social composition.
The NBC Director-General, Adaji, who was represented by the Director, Interstate Boundaries Department, Dr. Richard Orji, recalled that the agency’s last engagement on the Ekiti/Osun interstate boundary was in 2013.
Adaji noted that occasional tension arose in some sections of the boundary because of claims and counter-claims by the affected communities of the two states, assuring them that the commission would leave no stone unturned in the quest for peaceful demarcation of the boundaries.