Residents of Ila-Orangun, in Ila local Government Area of Osun state have called on the governor of the state, Ademola Adeleke and his counterpart from Ekiti State, Abiodun Oyebanji to as a matter of urgency intervene in the land tussle between the town and some Oke-Imesi farmers.
The residents said they would no longer tolerate the alleged intentional encroachment on a well-established Ila Ila-Orangun land by some Oke-Imesi farmers.
They, however, appealed to the Ekiti State government to evacuate their people from Orangun’s land in Osun State, otherwise they would be forced out of the land.
At a meeting attended by all the traditional Chiefs, religious leaders and sociocultural groups of the town, held at the palace of Orangun of Ila, the sons and daughters of the ancient town said that the Supreme Court of Nigeria had in a suit No SC. 411/64 ruled that Orangun of Ila is the original owner of that land and that the Oke Imesi people were tenant of Orangun in their present farming location.
Quoted Messrs Carkeek and Burgess who established the boundary according to Otitoola, “By this arrangement, from the place where Oruro River meets with Osun River inward belong to to Esa-Oke. From Osun River to where it extends outward from Edemosi to Oruro River to Ayegun and to Ekiti boundary belong to Ila Orangun.
Oba Otitoola accused some farmers of Oke-Imesi of disobeying the court order which had stated clearly that the land belong to Orangun by intentionally encroaching the land.
“Traditionally the Orangun of Ila shares boundary with Alaye of Efon Alaye and what is today known as Oke-Imesi does not exist in between Ila/Efon vicinity. The Oke Imesi people hail from somewhere beyond or around Efon Alaye. They were brought to the present Oke-Imesi when there was a fight between their forebears, which became intractable. To amicably settle the fight, the reigning Orangun brought the forebears of Oke-Imesi people to the present Oke-Imesi which was originally Orangun’s land.
He further explained: “That the reigning Orangun was so magnanimous as to settle them on his land on the understanding that Oke-Imesi people are not to extend beyond the Oruro River.
“As time went by, some Oke-Imesi’s residents were permitted to farm on Orangun’s land and those of them who carried out their farming activities were made to to pay Isakole(yearly traditional tributes, consisting five big tubers of yam and a keg of Palm Oil per farmer which they have to carry by head from the farm to the palace of the Orangun of Ila as a symbol of subservience.
“At a time , some of the farmers were not paying Isakole accordingly, an action which prompted the colonial master to call in two experts , namely Messrs Carkeek and Burgess who established the boundary. However, matters on this was litigated in the Native Court and the matter was resolved in favour of the Orangun of Ila.”
Also, speaking, the Baamofin of Ila-Orangun, Dr. Barr. Olusegun Durotolu, opined that the Supreme Court had stated it clearly that Oke-Imesi people were tenant of Orangun in their present farming location.
Barr Durotolu added that evidences of payment of Isakole to Orangun of Ila were contained in Archive Evidence, in File No 1131, Volume II. He further explained that in 1978 this matter was resolved by the Military Government and there was a meeting between Ila Orangun people and Oke-Imesi people where the land in question was finally returned to Ila Orangun people.
“Past efforts to resolving this lingering boundary issue are yet to yield fruitful results and we therefore appeal to the Ekiti State government to evacuate their people from Orangun’s land in Osun State, otherwise, our community would force them out of our land by invoking the full wrath of Law against them, except they are willing to recognize the over lordship of the Orangun of Ila and are willing to pay all the arrears of Isakole owing the Ila community.”
He , however, appreciated the state governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke, the Orangun of Ila, Kabiesi Alayeluwa Oba Abdulwahab Kayode Oyedotun Bibire 1 and the Orangun in Council in their resolve to ensure that the matter is handled peacefully and to amicable resolution.
Present at the meeting were High Chief Paul Ogunrinade JP, Ejemu of Ila-Oragun, High Chief A. O Brahama, Obafaa of Ila-Orangun, the Omo Oba chiefs, Baales, Ila PARAPO IOCDC, Ila-Oragun Action Council, Ila Awareness Group, Isese Group, Farmers Associations among others.
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