Boundary Disputes: Ekiti Meets Residents of Border Towns, Warns against Bloodshed

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

To avert violence that could culminate in bloodshed in border towns and ensure speedy resolution of inter- state boundary tussles, the Ekiti State Government has warned towns sharing boundaries with other states against taking laws into their hands.

The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Monisade Afuye, gave the warning yesterday while interacting with stakeholders from Ogotun Ekiti and Efon Alaaye over raging land crises they had with their neighbours in Ikeji Ile, Ikeji Arakeji and Erinmo in Osun State.

This admonition came barely five days a boundary bedlam between Eda Oniyo Ekiti and Obbo Ayegunle in Kwara escalated resulting in the killing of a 32-year-old man, Bayo Agbetoke.

Harping on the expediency of peace during the parley, Mrs. Afuye, according to a statement issued by her Special Assistant on Media, Victor Ogunje, said peace building was in consonance with the policy of Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s government, saying no state can develop while experiencing  turmoil.

Afuye, represented by the Permanent Secretary in her office, Mr. Abayomi Opeyemi, said she had met with her counterpart in Osun State, Prince Kola Adewusi, and agreement had been reached over how to handle the land matters between the two states peacefully.

“At the meeting, the two deputy governors agreed that we should embrace peace on this matter, not violence or bloodshed. We have been embarking on the process of identification of actual boundaries with neighbouring states, we will visit your area soon.

“Anytime our experts come to you, I want you to be truthful. Show us the actual place that is the boundary. It is whatever you tell us that we will use to bargain with our neighbours, so we want you to be honest. I think you heard about the killing at Eda Oniyo, this shouldn’t repeat itself. Governor Oyebanji was saddened by this event. Please, help us appeal to your youths that they shouldn’t be violent, or take laws into their hands.

“The deputy governors had agreed that every issue between Osun and Ekiti States  will be resolved during Governor Oyebanji and Senator Ademola Adeleke tenures. We don’t want war between our people and Osun State. Our son that was killed in Eda Oniyo has gone, though it might be very painful,” she stated.

Speaking on behalf of his subjects, the Ologotun of Ogotun Ekiti, Oba Michael Adesanmi, clarified that his community shared boundaries with Ikeji Ile and Ikeji Arakeji, but hinted that that of the former has been the most recurrent and problematic.

The monarch, represented by High Chiefs, Simon Ogunsuyi and Disu Bakare, appealed to the government to take expeditious actions to halt incursion into their lands by their neighbours from Osun State to prevent violent reactions that could snowball into anarchy.

Speaking on the raging crisis between Efon Alaaye Ekiti and Erinmo in Osun State, Apostle Bojesomo Adegoke insisted that the fight over the ownership of  Ori Oke Agbara was misplaced, saying the place belongs to Efon from time immemorial.

Adegoke appreciated the government for being passionate about resolving the issue, appealing that more cohesive actions should be taken to avert the area from being hijacked by trespassers from Osun State.

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