Offa/Erin-Ile Boundary Clashes: On 1975 Peace Accord we stand- Offa community

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

There seems to be no letup in the age-long boundary disputes and clashes between Offa and Erin-Ile communities in Kwara state as Offa community is insisting that “the Kere Ipinle boundary established by the Col. Ibrahim Taiwo Peace Accord, which was signed by the two communities in 1975,” remains sacrosanct and should be enforced by the state government for lasting peace to reign, adding that the peace accord was also “gazetted into law by another Military Governor of the state, Col. P.A.M Ogar, in pursuant to the Kwara State Legal Notice No. 4 1997.”

This is as the Erin-Ile community is hanging on to the Adaramola Boundary Adjustment Committee Report and the Supreme Court judgments of 1973 and 2018, which they claimed awarded the disputed areas to them.

It would be recalled that the unresolved boundary disputes, antedating Nigerian independence, has culminated in incessant avoidable clashes between the two communities, resulting in losses of several lives and properties on both sides.

Addressing journalists in Offa, headquarters of Offa local government area, over the weekend, Justice Olabanji Orilonise (Retd), said Erin-Ile community must understand that the Supreme Court Judgments of 1973 and 2018, which they are erroneously clinging on to, did not award any Offa land to their community, while event has overtaken the Adaramola Report and has ceased to exist.

He said: “The Adaramola report is dead and buried having regards to the provision of Section 21 of the Local Boundary Settlement Amendment Edict, N0 16. 1975 which gave the Military Governor powers to reverse, nullify, set aside and review the Report. The Report has been set aside/varied by the Col. P. A. M. Ogar’s Edict which created new boundary lines between the two Communities. So, Adaramola’s Report no longer exist and cannot be hung unto by the Erin-Ile Community to lay claim to any land in Offa.

“In the same vein, the Supreme Court Judgments of 1973 and 2018 (refer to analysis already done). These Judgments did not award any land to Erin-Ile. More importantly, the Supreme Court did decline jurisdiction on Adaramola’s Report which is no longer in existence having been reversed, nullified, and reviewed by the appropriate Authority in Kwara State.”

Justice Orilonise, who is the Chairman, Offa Boundary Committee, admonished the State Government to “take over full possession of the ‘Buffer Zone’ as defined in the Kwara State Legal Notices 1, 2, 3, & 4 1997, adding that the two communities should be encouraged to imbibe the culture of living in peaceful coexistence for their own betterment and the State at large.

The Offa Boundary Committee Chairman reiterated that the ‘Unity Road’ created by former Senate President Bukola Saraki when he was the Governor of the State, is not acceptable to Offa Community as the boundary between Offa and Erin-Ile, as well as boundary between Offa Local Government and Oyun Local Government on that axis, on the grounds that the construction of the road was a violation of Section 8 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) as its relates to adjustment of Local Government Boundary.

Besides, he said their rejection of the ‘Unity Road’ was because it was a marked departure from Ogar’s Edict, while the construction of the ‘Unity Road’ cut deep into Offa family lands thereby violating the provisions of Section 8 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the provision of Section 8 (4) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that a bill for a law of a House of Assembly for the purpose of boundary adjustment of any existing local government area shall only be passed if a request for the boundary adjustment is supported by two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding and the area affected by the boundary adjustment) in the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and
the local government council in respect of the area, is received by the House of Assembly, and a proposal for the boundary adjustment is approved by a simple majority of members of the House of Assembly in respect of the area concerned.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *