Ekiti, Osun Map Out Strategies to Resolve Lingering Boundary Tussles

Determined to foster a strong relationship between the two southwestern states, the Ekiti State Government and its Osun counterpart, have mapped out troubleshooting strategies to resolve inter-state boundary crises in some border towns across the two states.

The two states sealed the peace pact on Thursday when a delegation, led by the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye, visited her counterpart in Osun, Prince Kola Adewusi, at his office in Osogbo, the capital city, for an interface over the raging boundary tussles between the two states.

On Mrs Afuye’s entourage were the Permanent Secretary in her office and Chairman of the Boundary Commission Technical Committee, Mr. Abayomi Opeyemi, the Surveyor General of the State, Surveyor Adebayo Faleto, Secretary of the Boundary Commission, Surveyor Olalekan Olajide, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Governor, Hon. Victor Adeniyi, among others.

Before the interaction, the two deputy governors had met behind closed doors to address all the nagging and pending issues, where critical decisions that could stem the tide of boundary conflicts were fashioned out.

Addressing the stakeholders, Mrs Afuye, in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Victor Ogunje, pledged Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s receptiveness to any idea that would bolster a smooth relationship and partnership with any of the Southwestern states and Nigeria at large.

The Ekiti Deputy Governor revealed to stakeholders that the two states had resolved to allow government officials and experts in boundary delineation to handle the matters professionally to make peace among the beleaguered towns.

Mrs Afuye said: “We are here today for peace to reign between Ekiti and Osun States. Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, and Ogun States of southwestern extraction are brothers and sisters. Whatever transpired on the boundary, we won’t, because of it, kill ourselves.

“Our fathers, who were the real owners of the lands, have gone, and we will join them one day. We believe that we have the capacity to resolve all these pending issues. It will be on record and history that during our time, all these matters were resolved.

“We have no reason to be fighting or killing ourselves over land; we are brothers, and we will continue to keep that relationship, especially since my principal, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, is a lover of peace, and he wholeheartedly approved of this peace mission.”

In his message of hope, the Deputy Governor of Osun State, Prince Kola Adewusi, said Governor Ademola Adeleke was irrevocably desirous of resolving all boundary issues with Ekiti and any of the neighbouring states amicably, describing his principal as a peacebuilder like his counterpart in Ekiti.

Adewusi stressed the resolve of the state to wield the right political will to resist those he described as “war mongers” who are profiting from these conflicts and to execute whatever resolution reached by experts from the two states after visiting the crisis-ridden border towns.

He said: “It is a good thing to have this type of interface. Ekiti has done something spectacular with this visit. They have come here to ensure that we live in harmony. Let me thank Governor Biodun Oyebanji for facilitating this meeting.

“The issue of the boundary didn’t start yesterday; it has been a lingering crisis we inherited, but it will be a thing of joy if it is resolved now during our time. In the old western region, who knew the boundary, but boundaries only existed then for mere administrative convenience.

“We have taken proactive steps towards ensuring peace. Our forefathers, who claimed to have these lands, have gone. I want to appeal especially to our technocrats in the governments of the two states who will do this demarcation to really help us out. Let them visit these towns and use traditional means to resolve their crises.

“They should talk to the communities and get vital information. We want to leave everything in your hands; don’t misdirect the two states in whatever you do. It is going to be give and take; no one or state can win everything.

“We won’t wait until our people start kicking themselves before taking action. Those who are profiting from the conflicts might want to sabotage our interest, but we will resist them. On the part of Osun State, we are ready and willing to resolve these matters.

“The two governors are peace lovers, and I know they will be fully receptive to whatever the experts and bureaucrats come up with, and they shall implement them to the letter,” he assured.

Also stressing Osun’s commitments to peace, a retired Jurist and Chairman/ Commissioner, Osun State Boundary Commission, Justice Kunle Adeigbe, said the matters will be tackled via a “give and take spirit,” saying the lingering crises can’t be allowed to fester to a full-scale war.

Also corroborating the foregoing, the Surveyor General of Osun State, Surveyor Soladoye Abioye, added that some of the pending matters had been resolved internally, saying experts from the governments of the two states would be patriotic and dispassionate in dealing with all issues while prosecuting the assignment.

DailyPost / Arafat Ayofe

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