Tayo AFOLABI

 

The people of Ilasa Ekiti, in Ekiti South East Local Council Development Authority (LCDA) of Ekiti State have kicked against the relocation of the Council headquarters from their community to Isaya Ekiti.

As early as 8am on Sunday, angry residents barricaded the Lagos-Abuja highway, a major road linking the Southwestern part of the country to Abuja, the nation’s capital with burn fire and other articles.

Lagos, Abuja and Kwara bound vehicles and travelers were stranded for several hours.

Efforts by a detachment of police led by the Divisional Police Officer of the area to restore normalcy were rebuffed by angry protesters who insisted on showing their displeasure at the relocation of the LCDA headquarters.

Some of the protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as : “We say no to day light robbery, Ilasa Ekiti must be headquarters of Ekiti South East LCDA, no more no less”,  “it is evil and inhuman to change the headquarters of LCDA”, “Changing the headquarters of LCDA to Isaya Ekiti height of insensitivity,” amidst chanting of solidarity songs.

One of the leaders of the community, Mr Olowookere Akin, who addressed newsmen, explained that Ilasa was the headquarters of the LCDA in 2014 before it was suspended by the Ayodele Fayose led administration.

Akin, a retired civil servant,  also affirmed that Ilasa remained the headquarters of the new LCDA until some powerful forces from the other community tinkered with it. ” I doubted if Governor Fayemi is aware of the tinkering and this is why we felt we should show our displeasure through this protest.

“Since we can’t have access to him privately, then he will hear our cry through this medium. He must therefore right the wrong by reversing it. If we can’t have the headquarters of the LCDA, then no one will have it.

Also speaking with journalists, the National President, Ilasa Development Union, Mr Tajudeen Olutope Ahmed, Esq insisted that Ilasa had been the natural headquarters of the entire communities in the state constituency 2, now made up of the LCDA.

He noted that the Isaya community now hosting the LCDA headquarters was recently granted autonomy in 2019, adding that prior to the time, the community was just part of Kota Ekiti.

“At the draft of the bill for the LCDA, Ilasa Ekiti was the headquarters. We only woke up on the 12th of August read a statement by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda stating that the headquarters is Isaya Ekiti.

“We the people of Ilasa Ekiti in Ekiti East Local Government Area are appalled and devastated to read from the Press Release dated 12th August 2021 issued from the Desk of the Chairman, Local Council Development Area (LCDA) implementation committee, who doubles as the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ekiti State.

“Contrary to what was in the draft copy of the Creation of Additional Local Government Areas in Ekiti State (Second Amendment) Law 2021: No9 of 2021 which was a law meant to amend the Creation of Additional Local Government Area in Ekiti State (Amendment) Law, 2014; the purported Press Release of the Chairman LCDA Implementation Committee made Isaya Ekiti the headquarter of Ekiti South East LCDA. 

 “We shall resist any attempt to locate the headquarters of both Ekiti East Local Government and Ekiti South East LCDA at Omuo-Ekiti. The purported location of Ekiti South East LCDA at Isaya Ekiti amounts locating both the headquarter of Ekiti East Local Government and Ekiti South East LCDA in the same Omuo Ekiti.

“This to us is untenable, repulsive, draconian, unjust, unfair, unacceptable and condemnable.

“The only thing that can assuage our people, guarantee peace is for the needful to be done by reversing the LCDA headquarters back to Ilasa. We can’t be under Isaya, a recently created community.

“It has to be here or nowhere. We will not be part of the LCDA unless its capital is situated here in Ilasa. In the alternative, we wish to remain with Ekiti East Local Government.”

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