Ekiti Resolves Ikere Community, Hausa Traders Land Dispute 

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

The Ekiti State Government has resolved the protracted land dispute between Ikere community and Hausa traders. The dispute stemmed from  massive land  encroachments being allegedly perpetrated at Shasha market located along Ado-Ikere highway.

The government urged the Hausa traders to continue to operate unhindered in the market, with a stringent warning that the market stalls and residential buildings being erected shouldn’t exceed the one kilometre radius allocated to them by the state government. 

Sequel to a petition written by Ikere Community that Hausa traders were exceeding the lands allocated to them, the state government, had  set up a powerful Boundary Technical Committee to visit the area and ascertain the veracity of the claim for peace to reign. 

While giving the report of the Committee, yesterday  the Ekiti State Surveyor General, Adebayo Faleto, revealed that measurement indicated that the buildings erected by Hausa traders in the market didn’t transcend the area apportioned to them ab initio.

Presiding over the matter, the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, told the Ikere land owners, who have not been compensated to officially write to government for excision of part of the lands in that axis to them based on the advice of experts.

Appealing to the  land owners  not to hinder business operation in the area , Mrs Afuye,  said the community and the traders are Nigerians, who should continue to cohabit harmoniously without rancour and bad blood. 

As part of their lofty contributions to the development of the state, the deputy governor, urged the traders operating in the market to pay their  statutory taxes and rates to Ikere Local Government, to shore up the internally generated revenue of the council. 

Mrs Afuye said: “The land you released to government in that area had been gazetted and it is now a matter of law. If you want to get some portions back, you have to pass through  some processes. 

“Let the families who want to be compensated with lands to write to the Bureau of Land, the government will consider your position. There is no reason to fight over land or start killing yourselves or destroying people’s property, it is against the law,” she warned.

On how to take full ownership of the Shasha area, Mrs Afuye added: “The local government must be alive to its responsibility of going there to collect  taxes and rates from these traders, because the lands were acquired for development and this won’t be realised when you are not complying.

“Shasha market is a plus to Ikere community. They add to your population and voting strength. Please, allow the traders to continue to operate since they have not exceeded the radius allocated to them,” Mrs Afuye pleaded.

In her submission at the parley, the General Manager, Ekiti State Housing Corporation, Mrs Ilesanmi Abimbola, said 20 hectares of land were ceded to the agency in that area through the office of the Surveyor General of the State, out of which two hectares were legally allocated to Hausa community.

“The lands were allocated to Hausa traders through the normal processes of government and there was nothing like encroachment on government’s lands. The lands acquired were paid for and duly allocated.”  

Commending the government for being painstaking and unbiased  in the  handling of the issues raised by his people,  the Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado, said necessary steps will be taken for the excision of some lands to his people to serve as compensation. 

The monarch, represented by the Saruku of Ikere kingdom, Chief Clement Alomoge, posited that his people would continue to coexist peacefully with the traders in the overall interest of the community, saying what they stoutly stood against was undue and illegal land acquisition by strangers. 

“We are not after anyone or trying to go into war with the Hausa traders, they belong to us, we consider them as part of our people. But we need to clarify that  the lands ceded to Hausa traders were for market and not for residential purpose.

“The government acquired the lands from Ikere for development and not to be allocated to individuals as they were doing, that was our contention, not to fight anyone. 

“We will write to government as rightly advised, so that part of these unused lands can be excised to families who are yet to be compensated for peace to reign,” the monarch said.

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