The people of Offa in Kwara State, have suggested ways to end the age-long land dispute between them and the people of neighbouring Erin-Ile
The people under the aegis of Offa Descendants Union (ODU) requested the state government to develop the buffer zone that separated Offa and Erin-Ile in order to stop further encroachment on their land allegedly by the Erin-Ile people.
They also rejected the Unity Road constructed by a past administration on their land on the ground that the construction of the road was against the then existing legislation on the disputed land.
Addressing journalists in Offa, the chairman of ODU, Dr Funsho Oladipo, whose speech was read by Justice Banji Orilonise (rtd), insisted that the Supreme Court has not in any of its judgments, ceded any parcel of land belonging to Offa to Erin-Ile community.
Offa and Erin-Ile in Offa and Oyun local government areas respectively of Kwara State, have over the years, been enmeshed in bloody clashes over land dispute.
The ODU president added that the union had sent its positions to the peace committee set up by incumbent Governor AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq administration.
“The Unity Road is not acceptable to Offa community as the boundary between Offa and Erin-Ile as well as between Offa local government and Oyun local government on that axis on the ground that the construction of the road violates Section 8 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) as its relates to adjustment of local government boundary.
“The Kere Ipinle boundary established by the Col. Ibrahim Taiwo peace accord and signed by the two communities in 1975 which was also gazetted into law by Col. P.A.M Ogar in pursuant to the Kwara State Legal Notice No. 4 1997 must stand.
“That the Erin-Ile community be made to understand that the Supreme Court Judgments of 1973 and 2018 did not award any Offa Land to Erin-Ile Community; The Kwara state government is advised to take over full possession of the Buffer zone as defined in the Kwara state legal Notices 1, 2, 3, & 4 1997; and that the two communities be encouraged to imbibe the culture of living in peaceful co-existence for the betterment of the two communities and the state,” he added.
In his remarks, an elder statesman and former commissioner in the state, Alh Ayotunde Raji, said “as usual, the Offa people are ready to still give concessions in resolving the problem and restore permanent peace in the two communities.”