By Adejoke Adeleye
An illegal adjustment of pillars at Nigeria’s border by Benin Republic officials has led to encroachment into communities in Yewa North, Ogun State.
The illegal pillar adjustments have led to encroachment into some communities in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Hon. Wahab Haruna, lawmaker representing Yewa North II State Constituency, and community leaders in the affected areas have, however, assured the residents of the areas of the state government’s intervention through urgent engagements with the Federal Government to reclaim the encroached portions in the affected areas.
Haruna made the assertion during a fact-finding visit alongside the former Chairman of the Yewa North Local Government Council, Tajudeen Amoo, Commissioner III in the State Civil Service Commission, Falola Gabriel, Baale of Asaga, Chief Ayo Adeleye, his Igbokofin counterpart, Sesan Olusoji and another community leader, Dr. Kunle Garb amongst others to the encroached areas including Asaga, Igbokofin and Omilende.
They called for the implementation of more infrastructural projects including access roads, health facilities and police station to further enable the residents enjoy democratic dividends.
Recounting series of harassment and detention cases that had resulted in unwarranted assaults on the residents of the communities, the lawmaker noted there had been age-long issues about the exact point of the boundary between Nigeria and the Benin Republic, explaining that ‘Pillar 78’ had often been illegally shifted at six different times by the Beninese at night without official engagements with necessary stakeholders including the National Boundary Commission, Abuja.
He expressed confidence that the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun was capable of exploring all necessary avenues to find a lasting solution to the problem, with an appeal for the utilization of the intervention projects comprising of school, health centre, market stall, mechanical workshop and police station facilitated by Senator Iyabo Anisulowo to the areas.
“Let us continue to sustain the existing peace and tranquillity by not taking laws into our hands, the issue at hand is an inter-governmental matter that will be resolved through engagements among the relevant stakeholders both at the State and Federal levels”, Haruna submitted.
In their respective submissions, Chief Adeleye, Olusoji and Garb explained that the basis for the encroachment by the Benin Republic was to unlawfully take over the land, which had been discovered to be rich in mineral resources including gold, limestone and crude oil, adding that the Igbokoffi market was already being controlled by the Beninese, who had reportedly adjusted the pillars to their advantage.
They equally reported that pillars 74, 75, 76 and 77 were conspicuously missing with the removal of the nation’s flag, thus calling for the deployment of additional security personnel to mount the boundary post as spelt out in the official survey.