In the coastal region of Ilaje, a territorial dispute between Ondo and Ogun States has escalated, prompting a clash of claims and counterclaims. The catalyst for the tension was the recent assertion by the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, who accused the residents of Irokun Community in Ilaje of attacking Ogun citizens in the area.
However, the Ondo State Government swiftly responded, expressing displeasure and dismissing the allegations as baseless. Mrs. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Ondo, labeled the claims as falsehoods and attributed the crisis in the region to the actions of Ogun State Government officials.
“On no account will Ogun State Government cede an inch of this land to Ondo State,” declared the Ogun Deputy Governor, adding a layer of complexity to the territorial dispute. In response, Ondo emphasized its commitment to protecting the lives and properties of its residents, insisting that Irokun and other Ilaje communities fall under its jurisdiction.
The Ondo State Commissioner clarified that the disputed towns were legally and administratively within Ondo’s territory, pointing to the state government’s significant presence in these areas. Despite the tensions, the commissioner acknowledged the historical ties between Ondo and Ogun as sister states within the Yoruba ethnic group.
Amidst the verbal sparring, Ondo State reiterated its contentment with existing territorial boundaries, including its extensive coastline. The state expressed readiness to defend its claims and protect its assets without compromising the peaceful coexistence of neighboring states.
As the dispute unfolds, it poses a challenge not only to the relationship between Ondo and Ogun but also to the broader fabric of regional unity among Yoruba-speaking states. The residents of Irokun and other affected communities find themselves caught in the middle of a complex web of claims and counterclaims, hoping for a resolution that preserves peace and stability in their lives.