The Ogun State government has warned inhabitant of Ondo state to stop invading Ogun lands and attacking natives in the communities that border the two states.
The warning was was made in a statement released on Friday in Abeokuta, by the the State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Ogun State Boundary Committee Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele.
Salako- Oyedele noted that attacks on Ogun citizens, particularly those living in the Irokun kingdom, accompany the encroachment on Ogun communities, were done by residents from Ondo State’s Ilaje region.
She also condemned the imposition of Princess Adeyinka Abejoye Ogunyemi, as purported regent in the town in strong terms, described it as illegal and an act of impersonation.
“Irokun, a kingdom in Ogun State has its own traditional ruler, the Onirokun of Irokun, a member of our Ijebu Traditional Council. The current Onirokun, HRH, Oba Buari Olayinka Balogun, is the 8th Onirokun and has been on the throne since October, 2007. Irokun is very pivotal to Ogun State and the state government will not fold its hands and allow criminals to overrun it”, the Deputy Governor asserted.
Salako-Oyedele stated that she had extensive discussions with her counterpart in Ondo about the crisis and resolved that the status quo should be maintained.
She also requested that the National Boundary Commission identify and demarcate the areas in dispute based on historical facts and data in order to put the crisis to rest.
“On no occasion will Ogun State government cede an inch of its land to Ondo State because of the activities of criminals who have been terrorizing Ogun indigenes on their land, seeking to cause disaffection and instigate crisis between the two neighbouring states that share deep ethnic and historical links and whose governments have always collaborated to address issues of common concern.
“Obviously, the deliberate attempt by these lawless individuals to stoke crisis will fail.
“The state government is working on making life better for people in the area by providing more classrooms in schools, boreholes, primary health care centres and also proving safety net. Aside that, the government is also looking at new investments in the area because it is rich in mineral resources like bitumen, gas and oil. Government will provide basic infrastructure that will drive development in the area.
“Also, we strongly condemn the imposition of a regent in the riverine community by the Ondo StateGovernment, as we classify such action as illegal and the individual parading himself as regent as nothing but an impostor.
“The legitimate traditional ruler in that town remains Oba Buari Olayinka Balogun, as backed by instrumentality of government and in line with the gazette of the Ogun State Government, through the Ministry of Local Government & Chieftancy Affairs”.
However, the Deputy Governor gave the locals assurances of sufficient protection and promised to resolve the boundary dispute between the two states, asking locals to follow the law as long as the government fulfils its constitutional duty of keeping people safe.
“ It would be recalled that in September last year, the Ogun State Government resisted plans by the Ondo State government to install traditional rulers in the Ogun communities of Irokun, Obinehin, Idigbengben and Araromi seaside.
“ A statement issued by the then Ogun State government, said that contrary to the position of the Ondo State government, the affected communities fall within Ogun Waterside LG.
“ The statement called on the National Boundary Commission to take note and act accordingly in line with extant laws and relevant documents, saying that official legal documents dating back to the colonial era and re-affirmed by relevant agencies of the Federal Government are attesting to the claim.
The residents of the impacted communities were further reassured by the Ogun State Government that high-level talks had been started to avoid a breakdown in law and order.