EKSG Directs Boundary C’ttee to Resolve Efon/Ipole Land Dispute

In a bid to forestall restiveness and unwarranted bloodshed, the Ekiti State government , has directed the Land Dispute and Boundary Committee to mediate in the raging crisis between Efon and Ipole Iloro land dispute.

The committee, comprising Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr Abayomi Opeyemi, the Surveyor General of Ekiti State, Mr. Adebayo Faleto, Secretary, Ekiti State Boundary Commission, Mr. Olalekan Olajide and other experts, are to visit the disputed land to ascertain the veracity of the true ownership of Iwaji community.

The directive followed a petition written by the Alaaye of Efon, Oba Emmanuel Aladejare, accusing Ipole of laying claim to Iwaji, a community located between the two towns, despite that the area was under the jurisdiction of Efon Local Government.

In the petition, Oba Aladejare, alleged that the the people of Ipole were deploying thugs to harass Iwaji residents over a portion of lands in the community, urging the government to stop such unwholesome conduct.

Presiding over the matter, the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, said the government of Biodun Oyebanji places high premium value on the lives of the people and won’t allow any dispute to fester and claim the souls of innocent citizens.

Afuye, according to a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Victor Ogunje, stated that the government will be unbiased and dispassionate in handling the agelong dispute, bordering on the ownership of Iwaji community.

“What we are here for is peace and this Governor Biodun Oyebanji is desirous of offering the residents of this state. We want to appeal to our people to eschew violence and allow the committee on Land Dispute Resolution to visit the area and ascertain your claims”.

Speaking on the disputed land, the Alaaye of Efon, Oba Aladejare, said the Intelligence Report of 1934 showed that Efon shared boundary with Aramoko, Ijero, and Ogotun Ekiti, and not Ipole.

The monarch emphasized that Alaaye was a consenting authority over Ipole community up to 1984 before the town became an autonomous community.

The First Class traditional ruler contended that the state government used Omisanjana Stream as a demarcation between Iwaji and Ipole, saying the land belongs to his community contrary to the claim of Olupole, Oba Oladele Babatola.

“Available records were there that attested to the fact that Efon Local Government had been collecting rates, building market, mini town hall, providing boreholes and extended electricity to Iwaji . They used to vote and exercised census exercises through Efon Local Government.

“When Efon was created, the federal government gazetted and listed Iwaji as part of the settlements under Efon. Again, Iwaji Chiefs are taking their stipends from Efon Council area and not Ekiti West where Ipole Iloro belongs.

“Where then is the claim of their ownership of that community?”.

Countering Alaaye’s position, the Olupole, Oba Babatola, said Apetu traditional title, who is the head of Iwaji community, was a kingmaker under him based on the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Declarations of 1957, 58, 59, and 81 respectively.

Oba Babatola added that Apetu was part of those who selected his predecessor when he was to be installed a king, accusing Efon of only trying to arrogate the land to itself through subterfuge.

“We don’t have boundary with Efon Alaaye, we only sharesd boundary with Ahun- Ekiti, a community under Efon Alaaye. We have never fought with Efon over land issue, though we are good neighbours if they check history properly.

“Our ownership of Iwaji stands undisputable. Available documents testified to this fact. However, we will be happy if the government can intervene to prevent a situation whereby a town will claim ownership of a community from its true owner”.

Leave a Reply