The Ekiti State Government has charged traditional rulers with devising solutions to the state’s recent increase in land conflicts, claiming that autonomy granted to some communities was supposed to spark growth rather than squabbles.
The government advised the host communities where certain towns were granted complete autonomy to recognize their new neighbors’ new status and coexist peacefully with them, rather than viewing them as enemies.
Monisade Afuye, the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, stated this in Ado Ekiti on Friday, while speaking with the Ijero Council of Traditional Rulers about the boundary dispute between the three communities of Owatedo, Ejiyan, and Ipoti Ekiti in the state’s Ijero Local Government Area.
The Ajero of Ijero and supreme ruler of the council, Oba Joseph Adewole, the Olupoti of Ipoti, Oba Oladipupo Kolade, and the Obalaaye of Ejiyan, Oba Adesesan Adepoju, are among the monarchs present at the meeting.
Others are the Oba Olawumi Olofinlade of Owatedo, the Oba Ayorinde Oyedeji of Odo Owa, and the Oba Fabusuyi of Temidire.
Mrs. Afuye decried the recent land tussle in the three communities, saying that a government-appointed commission will visit the neighboring towns for accurate boundary marking, which will end the situation.
The Deputy Governor said it was shocking that the towns, which had existed together under Ipoti Ekiti for several years prior to autonomy, were still fighting over land, asking them to settle their differences and learn to coexist peacefully.
She expressed her satisfaction at Ajero of Ijero’s willingness to intervene in the dispute, exuding optimism that this measure would aid in the quick resolution of the protracted boundary crisis.
“We must learn to coexist peacefully.” Why should you quarrel over land now, after you’ve been together for so long? The government-appointed committee will visit the locations identified as flash points in order to learn more about what is going on in the three towns.
“What Governor Biodun Oyebanji desired was peace, and he sees traditional rulers as champions in this regard, so we can’t afford to be fighting over boundaries or superiority in chieftaincy titles that have existed for centuries.”
“The committee will be present to confirm issues and document them for future reference.” We will not assign blame, and we will not fold our arms and let carnage for issues that may be settled amicably.”
In support of the Deputy Governor’s position, the Ajero of Ijero Ekiti, Oba Adewole, indicated that he was aware of the border issue among the communities, but that it was not enough to fan the fire of division or bad blood if handled properly.
Oba Adewole advised the three towns to coexist peacefully and to see the autonomy granted to Ejiyan and Owatedo after being expelled from Ipoti Ekiti as a genuine opportunity for progress rather than violence.
The notable monarch noted that all of the traditional rulers in Ijero Local Government were taken along during the autonomy process, and they supported the government’s policy of promoting grassroots development.
“If you go to those villages, you’ll notice that they’re all neighbors. They have intermarried and built residences together. The monarchs must act quickly and peacefully now that two of the three towns have been granted autonomy.
“The land in question was given to them by my ancestor, Ajero, but it was given out of love, and it is that love that these towns must allow to continue in their midst.” Nobody should claim dominance over Ipoti, Owatedo, or Ejiyan because the government has recognized them.”
The king urged the government to send a commission to the area to gather more information in order to expedite the resolution of the dispute.
“We will all be available to assist the Committee in making an informed decision on this matter.”
However, all three fighting town monarchs had agreed to align with the position to interfere in the problem through a committee appointed by the state government.