From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Offa people of in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara state under the umbrella of Offa Descendants’ Union (ODU) at the weekend kicked against the Unity Road constructed by the immediate past adminstration in the state.
The Unity Road was meant to serve as boundary between Offa and Erin Ile towns.
Speaking with journalists in Offa, some elders of the town, led by ODU Land Committee, Justice Olabanji Orilonise (retd), on behalf of people of the ancient town, rejected the boundary demarcation between the two towns, claiming that it is a violation of section 8 (4) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The people, who appealed for peaceful co-existence between the two communities, however, called on the state government to uphold the “Kere Ipinle” boundary resolutions established by the military administrations of Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo and Colonel Ogar, respectively, which he said was duly signed by the two communities.
They also advised the state government to take full possession of the Buffer Zone as defined in the Kwara state Legal Notices 1, 2, 3 & 4 of 1997.
The people, who called for historical consideration in finding a lasting solution to the age-long communal crisis, appealed for absolute sincerity as the two rival communities await feedback from the committee set up by the state government on the land dispute.
It was gathered that the state government recently constituted a committee saddled with the responsibility of resolving the long border demarcation crisis.
Justice Orilonise, who said that it is not a responsibility of the court or any personality to allocate land to anyone or any community, added that issue of border demarcation is solely that of a trained surveyor.
He also advised that the report of the 1973 Supreme Court verdict should be held as valid, including the 2003 Supreme Court judgement, which he said did not award either of the two communities to erect structure on the buffer zone land or taking possession of each other’s land.