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Sunday, June 23, 2024

One dead and others injured in border dispute between Ekiti and Kwara communities

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The border dispute between Eda Oniyo community in Ilejemeje Local Government Area of ​​Ekiti State and Obo Ayegunle town in Kwara State claimed one life on Saturday, while a yet to be determined number of people suffered wounds.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the border dispute escalated when Obo Ayegunle gunmen allegedly attacked Eda Oniyo on Saturday.

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It was learned that in the ensuing melee, one person from the Eda Oniyo community allegedly died before soldiers, police personnel and members of the Amotekun Corps arrived at the scene to de-escalate the crisis.

Ekiti State Deputy Governor Monisola Afuye addresses stakeholders of the Eda Oniyo community during a peace meeting held last week.

Recall that the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Monisade Afuye, had, on Thursday last week, interacted with the Eda Oniyo community on the acrimonious border dispute between the two cities.

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In his appearances in Parliament, the traditional leader of Eda Oniyo, Oba Awolola, had complained about how some people from Obo Ayegunle allegedly invaded his town and started arresting people indiscriminately and holding them in a vast land located between the two. towns.

Oba Awolola had revealed that Obo Ayegunle farmers had been paying royalties to Eda Oniyo for the land for decades but they stopped doing so recently and allegedly began efforts to forcibly take the land from their people.

The monarch had explained that the disputed land belonged to Eda Oniyo based on the resolution of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) on the presence of the pillar of Ondo State on the land and supported by a document published as legal notice No 126 of 1954 under Western Law. region.

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The traditional ruler said Obo Ayegunle moved to its current location in 1927, while Eda Oniyo Ekiti had been established in the town since the 14th century, sharing borders with Etan and Eruku in Kwara State.

“In 2008, there was a meeting called by NBC between the two communities where some resolutions were made in favor of Ekiti that legal notice No 126 of 1954 should be allowed to stand because it is still an existing document and is yet to be amended.

“They cannot use threat and violence to recover that land. That limit cannot be changed orally. They have nothing to refute the 1954 document. That land belonged to Eda Oniyo, and what Obo Ayegunle was doing was an attempt by Kwara State to rob Ekiti of his inheritance,” the traditional ruler said.

Offering further explanation on the conflict in the meeting with Mrs Afuye, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Olugbenga Odesanmi, revealed that the matter could be resolved with the intervention of the government, saying that the lands were about to be expropriated because they were leased. for too long by the people of Eda Oniyo.

Odesanmi added that Obo Ayegunle had expanded from its current location to the disputed land, stressing that it may be necessary for NBC to intervene and resolve the matter amicably.

In his presentation, the Deputy Inspector General of the state, Rufus Gbadura, had said that the disputed land had the pillars demarcating the boundary between the Western Region and the Northern Province, which further attested to the fact that it belonged to the state of Ekiti.

However, in a countermeasure, the Union of Descendants of Obo Ayegunle, in a letter to Governor Biodun Oyebanji, also accused Eda Oniyo Ekiti of encroaching on their land and provoking unnecessary insurrection.

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Government has appealed to residents of Eda Oniyo to remain calm in the face of the attack on the community.

The state Commissioner for Information, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, assured that the situation was under control.

The commissioner, however, revealed that additional troops had been moved to the area to protect the community, while the army formation in Kwara State had been contacted to deploy troops along the Kwara side of the border to limit new attacks from both sides.

He expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured in the incident.

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