The Ekiti State government on Friday tasked its traditional rulers to contrive ways of stopping the upsurge in land disputes in the state.
Deputy Governor Monisade Afuye gave this charge in Ado-Ekiti at a meeting with the Ijero Council of Traditional Rulers on boundary dispute among the trio of Owatedo, Ejiyan and Ipoti Ekiti communities in Ijero Local Government Area of the state.
Ms Afuye urged the host communities where some towns were excised for complete autonomy to recognise the new status of their neighbours and live peacefully with them.
The deputy governor bemoaned the festering land tussle in the three communities recently, promising that a government committee would visit the neighbouring towns for proper boundary demarcations to resolve the crisis.
She said it was appalling that the towns, which had existed together under Ipoti-Ekiti for several years before the autonomy, could be experiencing lingering land disputes.
“The committee set up by the government will visit the places identified as flash points to exhume more facts about happenings in the three towns.
“We are not going to apportion blames; we will not also fold our arms and allow bloodshed over matters that can be resolved amicably,” the deputy governor said.
The traditional ruler of Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti, Oba Adewole, stated that he was aware of the boundary dispute among the communities, describing this as insufficient to stoke the fire of division or bad blood if well handled.
Mr Adewole urged the three towns to cohabit peacefully and perceive the autonomy granted to Ejiyan and Owatedo, after being excised from Ipoti-Ekiti, as a veritable avenue for development and not war.
“If you go to those towns, all three were neighbours. They have built houses together and intermarried.
“The land under contention was given to them by my ancestor, it belonged to Ajero, but it was given out of love.
“And it is that love these towns must allow to continue in their midst. Ipoti, Owatedo, and Ejiyan have been recognised by the government, so nobody should claim superiority among them,” Mr Adewole said.
The traditional rulers from the three feuding towns had agreed to align with the state government’s position to allow its committee to intervene.
Traditional rulers present at the meeting include the Ajero of Ijero-Ekiti and paramount ruler of the council, Oba Joseph Adewole; Olupoti of Ipoti-Ekiti, Oba Oladipupo Kolade and Obalaaye of Ejiyan-Ekiti, Oba Adesesan Adepoju.
Others are the Olojaowa of Owatedo, Oba Olawumi Olofinlade and Olowa of Odo Owa, Oba Ayorinde Oyedeji.