Airport, power projects: Ekiti govt sues for peace among communities

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The Ekiti State Government has moved swiftly to prevent boundary conflict among communities on whose land the agro-cargo airport and 132 KVA power plant are located, urging them to maintain peace.

The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, said the projects would bring economic development to the communities hence they should refrain from boundary conflicts.

The Deputy Governor, according to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Odunayo Ogunmola, made the appeal during a peace meeting with stakeholders from Igbemo Ekiti and Orun Ekiti on one side and Osin Ekiti and Ilupeju Ekiti on the other side.

Otunba Egbeyemi said the airport project would benefit Igbemo and Orun while the power plant would benefit Osin and Ilupeju hence the need for the affected communities to avoid boundary conflict to reap the social and economic benefits of the key projects.

The Onigbemo of Igbemo Ekiti, Oba Adewumi Daramola, the Olorun of Orun Ekiti, Oba Joshua Osalusi, the Olosin of Osin Ekiti, Oba Philip Eniayewu, and the Apeju of Ilupeju Ekiti, Oba Olaleye Oniyelu, who was represented by the Obanla of Ilupeju Ekiti, Chief Sunday Awe led stakeholders from their communities to the peace meeting.

Addressing the delegations, the Deputy Governor, stressed that the land upon which the projects are located had been acquired by the government for developmental purposes hence no individual or community can lay claim to it again.

While explaining that although some owners of economic trees on the land had been compensated, Otunba Egbeyemi assured that those yet to receive their compensation would be compensated in due course.

The Deputy Governor explained that officials from the State Boundary Commission and Bureau of Lands to pay an inspection visit to the affected boundaries to ascertain those who have been compensated and those yet to be compensated.

Otunba Egbeyemi said the state government is only interested in commissioning projects capable of transforming the lives and economies of the communities and would not be happy seeing their relations strained by the boundary crisis.

According to him, there is a need for the people to support the state government to ensure the take-off of the projects to the benefit of the communities and avoid any rancour that could stall them.

He said: “Igbemo and Orun are lucky to have the airport project located on their soil and the two Obas must ensure that peace reigns on your domains for the airport to commence operations without any problem.

“The project should not cause any crisis between the two towns. We want you to encourage your illustrious sons and daughters to leverage the airport project by constructing warehouses to be used by those who will be bringing goods to the airport.

“When the airport becomes operational, businesses will be established along that axis so we need peace to encourage investors to establish businesses along that corridor and it will be to your benefit.

“The 132 KVA Power Plant is a blessing to communities like Ilupeju, Itapa, and Osin. We don’t want to hear that you are fighting there. Government has acquired the land in the interest of the people.

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“Learn to live in peace together. It is our desire to come to your place and commission projects like industries, tertiary institutions and others and not to be settling crises.”

Otunba Egbeyemi said Governor Kayode Fayemi would not relent in his efforts to ensure the speedy completion of the projects but pleaded for communities in the state to allow peace to reign for development to be a reality.

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