From: Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The governments of Oyo and Osun states are currently in search of a lasting solution devoid of violence to resolve the boundary dispute between the two states.
The indications emerged, on Thursday, as secretaries to the governments of the two states, Alhaji Ishmael Alli (Oyo), and Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (Osun), held a mediation meeting at Odo-Ewi, Ogbomoso.
The meeting agreed that status quo should be maintained on the territory, pending the final resolution of the dispute. The states had been locked in a battle over the ownership of a vast territory between Ogbe and Ewi streams in Iresa, a border town between the two states in Ogbomoso area.
The territory became a subject of dispute after Osun State was carved out of the old Oyo State on August 27, 1991 by the then Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida.
Alli reiterated the commitment of the Oyo State Government to ensure peaceful co-existence over the boundary issues with other neighbouring states, adding that the meeting was held to meditate over the boundary dispute between the two states that had been lingering for many years .
He enjoined people residing close to the boundaries to live peacefully and avoid actions that could lead to violence, noting that the two states should allow the status quo to remain and wait for the outcome and intervention of National Boundary Commission on the issue.
The leadership of the two states, according to him, would meet later to find lasting solution to the matter. Alli also dismissed the allegation leveled against the SSG of Osun State that he led the people that removed the pillar at the boundary, describing it as “erroneous and without any iota of truth.”
Adeoti, who said the meeting was necessary to find a lasting solution to the boundary dispute, appealed to both sides to allow peace to reign at all time and see themselves as one family.
An Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. Chinedu Oko, who represented Oyo State Commission of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude, said the police would continue to monitor the boundaries by putting adequate surveillances on ground in order to maintain law and order.