The lawmaker representing Yewa North II State Constituency, Hon. Wahab Haruna and community leaders in the encroached areas which include Asaga, Igbokofin and Omilende, among others, have allayed fears of residents, over the illegal adjustment of pillars of the nation’s boundary by the officials of the Benin Republic, leading to encroachment into the aforementioned communities, as the State Government will do everything to right the wrong.
Hon. Haruna, 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 Garba, among others made their position known during a fact-finding visit.
The lawmaker expressed confidence that the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun was capable of exploring necessary avenues to find lasting solution to the problem, with an appeal for the utilisation of the intervention projects, comprising of schools, health centre, market stall, mechanical workshop and police station, facilitated by Senator Iyabo Anisulowo to the areas.
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 Benin Republic, explaining that ‘Pillar 78’ had been illegally shifted at six different times by the Beninese at night without official engagements with necessary stakeholders including the National Boundary Commission, Abuja.
“Let us continue to sustain the existing peace and tranquility 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 admonished.
In their respective submissions, Chief Adeleye Olusoji and Garba explained that the basis for the encroachment by 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.
The community leaders also called for the provision of more infrastructural projects including access roads, health facilities and police station, to further enable residents enjoy dividends of democracy.