By Segun Giwa
Ondo State Government has cleared controversy trailing recognition of traditional institutions belonging to some communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, maintaining that it’s not within Ogun jurisdiction.
The communities are: Irokun,Obinehin, Idigbengben and Araromi seaside.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ogun Government recently reacted via statement, based on the white paper issued by Ondo State, recognising the traditional institutions of the communities.
The Ondo state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, while reacting, said that the communities were within Ilaje Local Government Area of the state and not in Ogun.
Ademola-Olateju said that the government decided to respond in order to set the records straight after it was brought to its attention through a statement from Ogun.
She also clarified that the Ilaje seaside communities were not subject of dispute before the National Boundary Commission, adding that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had always conducted elections there as part of Ondo State.
“The statement by Ogun government, based on the recent white paper issued by Ondo state, recognising the traditional institutions of Irokun , Obinehin, Idigbengben and Araromi seaside, has been brought to the attention of the Ondo state government.
“The government has decided to respond as follows in order to set the records straight, that Irokun, Obinehin, Idigbengben and Araromi seaside are communities within Ilaje local government area of Ondo state.
“These communities have a long history of traditional institutions within the state.
These communities are not in dispute between Ondo state and Ogun as the people living therein are indigenes of Ondo state.
“In addition, the landmass occupied by these communities falls within the territory of Ondo state of Nigeria.
“The claim that these communities are in dispute before the National Boundary commission is untrue, as the communities are within Ilaje Local Government of Ondo state.
“Federal institutions like INEC regularly conduct elections in these communities and votes cast are recorded for Ilaje local government of Ondo state,” she said.
The commissioner said the recognised institutions were integral parts of traditional institutions in Ilaje local government area and are all indigenes of the state.
Ademola-Olateju said the state was not against discussions as requested by its counterpart in Ogun but urged Ogun government to check and always set the records properly.
“Ondo state government in the recent white paper issued on Justice Ajama Commission, avoided consideration of request for recognition of traditional institutions from communities where there are land disputes and communal conflicting claims, pending the resolution of such disputes.
“It should be noted that the traditional institutions of these communities, submitted memoranda and appeared publicly before Ondo State Hon. Justice C.E.T Ajama commission of Enquiry on Chieftaincy matters, set up by Ondo State as far back as 2015 without any opposition from any quarter, including the government of Ogun.
“It is surprising that the government of Ogun is trying to claim ownership, after Ondo state has accepted the recommendation of the said commission.
“While Ondo state is not averse to discussions on this matter as requested, we however urge our brothers in Ogun to check their records properly on issues raised in their press statement.
“It is on record that the communities in question have been in a festive mood since the announcement by Ondo state government to recognise their traditional institutions.
“There is no threat to peace in these communities. We urge our people to continue to live harmoniously amongst themselves for the development of our dear sunshine state,” the statement concluded.(NAN)