Group appeals to media to be accurate in reporting Osogbo, Ede land dispute

Posted by News Express | 25 February 2017 | 2,378 times

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•Osun State Capital Territory Development Authority DG, Dr. Hazzan Maruf.

The Osogbo Development Action Group (ODAG) has urged journalists in the state to always balance their stories and avoid distortion of fact especially on the age long land dispute between Osogbo and Ede communities.  

The youth group in Osogbo, capital of Osun State made the appeal in a press statement issued and signed by the Coordinator of ODAG, Mr Gasali Daud, and Secretary, Mr Badru Asimiyu.

The group frowned at the manner a section of the media referred to the Abere at Oke-Pupa area where the Osun State Secretariat is located as Ede North Local Government whereas it is under Osogbo Local Government.

ODAG said the people of Osogbo were not comfortable with the way some media organisations reported “the recent needless protest in front of the Osun State Secretariat by some disgruntled elements from the Abere Community, Ede.”

According to ODAG, “We frowned at the distortion of fact by those reporters that referred to Oke-Pupa area as Ede North Local Government. We therefore wish to state clearly now that the place where the Osun State Secretariat was sited is under Osogbo Local Government. 

“ODAG also wishes to call the attention of the general public to note that the place called Abere is wrongly addressed as Abere and that Abere is a village in Ede that is about 4km away from the Osun State Government Secretariat.

“The area that some people are referred to as Abeere now is actually a part of the Oke-Osun Osogbo Farm settlement and up to the late 90’s, the junction directly opposite the Osun state secretariat was known as ‘Iyana Abere’, meaning the junction leading to Abere.”

ODAG said the land in contention had been acquired by the government of the western region with available evidence of compensations paid to the true owners of the land who are all Osogbo indigenes.

“The Ede community which is laying claim of ownership to the land have perpetually failed within all legal means to prove their claim and the Osogbo community has always calmly own up with bag full of evidences to prove its ownership. Thus, we are surprised over the declaration of war by the Ede community,” it said.

The group lauded the state government for taking the giant step of removing all the illegal structures and buildings that are erected in the land that was acquired from the Osogbo community for public purpose.

According to ODAG, “It must be said that while the Ede people embark on illegal incursion on the disputed land, the Osogbo community use all legal means to push back the Ede people since the land was acquired from the Osogbo community by the government of the western region in 1963.

“Any distorted media report would amount to deliberate attempt to mislead the public and cause confusion. The gentlemen of the press should note that the location that was reported as Ede North Local Government falls under Osogbo Local Government and should be regarded as such.

“We also wish to refer the media to the 2010 judgement of the census tribunal which ordered that the 2006 census result of that disputed area should be added to Osogbo Local government. Ede North Local Government did not go to court to appeal that decision then.

“If the place is part of Ede North Local Government, the Census Tribunal would not give a judgement that the population of that area: the Osun state Secretariat up to Zone XI of Police Headquarters should be counted as part of the Osogbo local government in the population census.”

ODAG called on the security agencies to arrest Mr Debo Kamardeen, lawmaker representing Ede North Local Government in the Osun State House of Assembly, and Mr Eniola Kasali, Chairman Abere community, for interrogation on their roles in the manhandling of Dr. Hazzan Maruf, Director General of Osun State Capital Territory Development Authority, and alleged possession of dangerous weapons that were brandished openly during the protest by some people from Ede.

Source: News Express

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