Priscilla Ediare, Ado-EKiti
Ekiti Government has pledged its commitment to maintaining peace along its boundaries with neighbouring Osun State.
Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, disclosed this during a joint meeting on the interstate boundary, organised by the National Boundary Commission (NBC) in Osogbo.
Egbeyemi and his Osun State counterpart, Benedict Alabi, expressed confidence that an amicable and lasting solution would be found to the lingering dispute among communities located on the boundaries of the two states.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the deputy governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, the peace parley was chaired by NBC Director General, Adamu Adaji.
The deputy governors, who signed a seven-point communique at the end of the one-day meeting, appealed to the affected boundary communities to give peace a chance and refrain from actions that could lead to breakdown of law and order among them.
They were joined by the attorneys general/commissioners of Justice of the two states, Wale Fapohunda (Ekiti) and Femi Akande (Osun), local government chairmen and traditional rulers of the affected communities.
Egbeyemi expressed concern that the people living along the boundaries of the two states had been operating under very stringent conditions because they had been restrained from engaging in development projects in the disputed areas.
He said: “While the two states are making efforts to resolve the border problems, I wish to implore our people to embrace peace and love, and avoid provocation that can escalate tension among border dwellers.”
On his part, Alabi said difference in the positions of the two states does not in any way suggests enmity, but it is a reflection of sound minds and certainty of social composition.
“I have no doubt in my mind that with this latest intervention and commitment, this marks the end of brewing acrimony at the border towns of the two states, and the beginning of renewed hope, prosperity and harmonious co-existence in the area,” he said.
Some of the flash-points are Okemesi/Esa Oke, Efon Alaaye/Esa Oke, Efon Alaaye/Erin Ijesa, Osan/Ila Orangun and Ogotun/Ikeji Ile.
Adaji, represented by the Director, Interstate Boundaries Department, Richard Orji, recalled that the agency’s last engagement on the Ekiti/Osun interstate boundary was in 2013.