The Ekiti State Government, has lamented the increasing pending land matters in various courts and family land disagreements in the state, warning that the crisis is ripping many towns apart and causing disunity across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State.
The state government appealed to families and towns embroiled in these scenarios to withdraw their cases, settle out of courts and learn to administer their lands honestly and prudently.
The Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, said this in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday while presiding over a long-drawn family crisis brewing over a parcel of lands owned by the Agbaakin family of Ikere Ekiti.
The government’s intervention followed a petition written by a section of Agbaakin family of Okeruku Quarters, Ikere Ekiti, claiming that some members were planning to demolish some houses to reclaim some plots of land sold to developers on the contentious land.
Mrs Afuye while presiding over the matter, regretted that many cases relating to land disputes that were brought to the notice of government are pending in various hierarchies of courts, saying this had disunited many families, quarters and towns.
She warned that the scenarios are affecting the peace and development of some communities negatively, saying the current government under Governor Biodun Oyebanji views such tendencies with worry and resentment.
“It is sad that many families and communities that were supposed to be united and progress speedily have been torn apart by land disputes. Most disturbing is the fact that the money they are supposed to spend to build houses and educate their children are wasted on frivolous cases in courts.
“I advise those whose family lands are in their custodies to learn how to be open, transparent and honest in land matters. They shouldn’t personalise whatever belongs to the family, this I think has been the basis for all these crises”.
Presiding over the matter, Mrs Afuye advised the Agbaakin and the family head, Chief James Falola, to unite the family and forge a united front that would add value to the Ikere community.
The Deputy Governor told the family head and those opposed to his leadership to withdraw all their cases in Court and convene a peace meeting to resolve all pending issues amicably.
“I want to appeal to you that your family won’t be recognised in Ikere Ekiti if you are not united. You won’t progress like others as well. So, I want you to listen to the position of Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado, that this case should be settled out of court, so that you can be united.
“I also plead with you not to demolish anybody’s building, this will worsen the already brewing tension. And whatever amount you make on sale of lands should be deposited in the family’s accounts because that land belongs to all of you, not one person”.
Also pleading with the family to eschew crisis, the Sao of Ikere Ekiti, High Chief Kayode Omodara, said the land crisis in the family has prevented it from having effective representation in Ogoga-in-Council.
Chief Omodara added that the family may lose respect they command in the town should they allow the matter to linger and fester unnecessarily, saying the crisis has not gone beyond settlement if they heed the voices of reason.
The Secretary of Ikere Local Government, Coker Alonge, who was present at the parley appreciated Governor Oyebanji’s government for intervening in the matter, saying this will surely bring enduring solution to the protracted land dispute.