By Gbenga Sodeinde, Senior Correspondent, Ado-Ekiti
The National Boundary Commission, (NBC) has been urged to expedite action at resolving unresolved lingering inter and intra boundary matters in order to establish perpetual peace and mutual understanding in the affected areas.
The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu, made this appeal while declaring open the joint meeting of officials on Ekiti/Osun and Ekiti/Kwara inter-state boundary disputes held at the Lady Jibowu Hall, Government House, Ado-Ekiti.
She noted that quick and amicable resolutions of such boundary disputes will engender lasting peace and promote development in such areas.
Professor Adelabu who explained that Ekiti and the State of Osun inherited some of the lingering boundary problems expressed the belief that with mutual understanding and the cordial relationship that exist between the government of the two states, the problems shall come to an end during the tenure of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and his counterpart in the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
According to the Deputy Governor, “the boundary disputes cover five local government areas on the side of Ekiti namely: Moba, Ijero, Ekiti West, Efon and Ekiti South West while the tripartite point between Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States in Ogotun/Owena/Ikeji respectively is another standing issue delaying the demarcation of other sectors along the boundary”.
Adelabu appealed to all parties concerned to display understanding throughout the meetings which was at the instance of the National Boundary Commission in a bid to getting the problems resolved adding that no meaningful development could be achieved in an artmosphere where there is provocation, tension rancor and acrimony.
In her own remark, the Deputy Governor of the State of Osun, Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori, expressed the delight of the State at the joint meeting which she said was part of efforts to put a final rest to the protracted border disputes between Osun and Ekiti States.
She said the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is keenly interested and committed to an amicable resolution of the lingering boundary dispute which he sees as a mere family affair because the disputes were already portending an unwelcome development which is already affecting the prevailing mutual understanding between the affected communities both states.
Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the State of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, explained that the inability of both states to amicably resolve the crisis led to series of meetings conveyed by the National Boundary Commission.
She therefore urged the NBC to take its decision without fear or favour and stop playing politics with sensitive issues while reaffirming that the people of the State of Osun will continue to be peaceful and law abiding as the state believe that development can only thrive in an atmosphere free of crisis and rancor.
The Director–General of the National Boundary, Dr. Mohammad Bose Ahmad in his opening remark noted that boundary disputes occur all over the world and have led to great development and more cordial relationships between border communities and states where people living in such areas allowed reason to prevail and amicably resolved the matters.
He expressed optimism that the joint meetings of the officials on Ekiti/Osun and Ekiti/Kwara interstate boundaries scheduled for 16th and 17th September would be successful judging by the arrangements put in place by the Ekiti State Government for their success and large turn-out of affected communities, including their traditional rulers who are critical statkeholders.
Dr. Ahmad who remarked that the governments of Ekiti and State of Osun are very cordial and at peace with each other therefore charged stakeholders from the states to allow reason to prevail and have the considerate spirit of give and take which is highly necessary for quick and amicable resolution of all the boundary disputes once and for all.