Commuters traveling to Abuja and Lagos and other towns, on Sunday were stranded in Ilasa Ekiti, Ekiti East local government area of Ekiti State for several hours, following a protest by residents of the town against the relocation of Ekiti South East Local Council Development Authority (LCDA) headquarters from the community.

State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, had two weeks ago established 19 LCDAs, backed by the state House of Assembly.

Leaders of the Ilasa Ekiti had hoped that headquarters of Ekiti East LCDA, would be located in their town in line with what the governor did in 2014, when he first came up with the idea.

However, when the LCDAs were announced, the community was disappointed as the state government named its headquarters as Isaya Ekiti.
Rising up early on Sunday as early as 8am, the protesters massed  near Isaya Ekiti and  barricaded the highway  leading to Kogi state being plied chiefly  by travellers to and from Abuja to Lagos.

The police had a difficult time controlling the rampaging youths of the town, who trooped out in large numbers to register their opposition to Fayemi’s action. 
 They fcsrriee placards with the inscriptions, “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,” among others

A protester who is a retired civil servant, Olowookere Akin, told newsmen that Ilasa was the headquarters of the LCDA in 2014 before it was suspended by the Ayodele Fayose led administration.
He 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,” he said.

“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.”

The National President, Ilasa Development Union,  Tajudeen Ahmed, 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,” Mr Ahmed said.

“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.”

In a similar occurrence, the people of Erinmope-Ekiti in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State have petitioned the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda, rejecting Igogo-Ekiti as the headquarters of the newly created Ero local council development area in the state.

The community in a protest petition signed by its lawyer, Kayode Okimoba on behalf of President of Erinmope-Ekiti Development Union, Dayo Olajide, stated that it would amount to injustice for the community to be deprived of the headquarters of the new council area.

According to the lawyer, Mr Fapohunda who is the chairman of the LCDA creation implementation committee should use his office to la amcorrect what they described as a clear injustice within the next seven days or, ” we will spontaneously proceed with our Client’s standing instructions to interpose, by legal and judicial means, to reverse and quench this perfidious injustice and arbitrariness.”

They argued that the community was recommended for the headquarters of Ero LCDA by the Akin Ajakaye-led committee set up by the government in 2014 during the first term of the governor, calling on the government to adhere to the earlier decision in the interest of peace in the area.

Leave a Reply

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