Ekiti Govt. Douses Tension Between Two Towns Over LCDA Headquarters

The Ekiti State Government has called on the people of Igbara Odo Ekiti and Ogotun Ekiti to eschew acts that can breed disaffection and join hands together for the smooth takeoff of the Igbara Odo/Ogotun Local Council Development Area LCDA.

The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, who made the call during a peace meeting with leaders of the two towns also clarified that the permanent LCDA Headquarters remained Oke Agbe and could not been taken elsewhere.

He called to douse the tension generated by last week’s protest by some youths who blocked the major roads connecting the two towns over rumoured plan to relocate the LCDA headquarter.

The Deputy Governor used the forum to condemn blockade of the highway, explained that Igbara Odo Ekiti would only host the temporary secretariat pending the time a permanent secretariat would be ready at Oke Agbe, a boundary between the two communities.

Otunba Egbeyemi warned that the state government would not fold its arm and allow a breakdown of law and order, molestation of law-abiding citizens, disruption of businesses and legitimate activities in the name of protest on the new LCDA.

He pointed out that the new LCDA should unite the two communities more, adding that indigenes should work together to see the LCDA as a catalyst for rapid social and economic development in the area.

The Deputy Governor appealed to the two parties to forget the past animosity, hatred, mutual distrust and suspicion, with a appeal to eminent citizens from both sides not to allow hoodlums to unleash terror on the creation of the LCDA.

According to him, Igbara Odo/Ogotun LCDA had the potentials to be one of the best and the most viable of the 19 LCDAs, recently created by a law passed by the House of Assembly and assented to by Governor Kayode Fayemi, due to availability of abundant human, natural and material resources.

Otunba Egbeyemi however urged the people to disregard any rumour or fake news on the purported change of the LCDA Headquarters, saying hearsay could not undo steps that underwent due process.

The Deputy Governor maintained that the present arrangement of temporary secretariat in Igbara Odo and permanent secretariat in Oke Agbe still subsists and remains unchanged as Oke Agbe headquarter was in line with enabling law creating the LCDA.

Responding to claims that one of the triggers of the crisis was which town should produce the first elected LCDA Chairman, the Deputy Governor advised the two communities to sit down and come out with a documented agreement that would be mutually acceptable to both sides in the interest of peace.

The Igbara Odo community was represented by former old Ondo State House of Assembly member and the Asamo of Igbara Odo, Chief Oyebanji Olowofela and a retired Permanent Secretary and former Commissioner for Labour and Human Capital Development, Chief Oluwole Ariyo.

The Ogotun community was represented by former Ekiti State House of Assembly member and the Asiwaju of Ogotun Ekiti, Chief Abiola Olowookere and a university don, Dr. Francis Ojo.

The two parties resolved to convey the message of peace to their people and allow peace to reign to facilitate the successful take-off of the LCDA as directed by the government.

Oriola Afolabi

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