A communal crisis is currently brewing in two towns, Eruwa and Lanlate, in Oyo State over the siting of a health facility at Lagaye village by the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin.
Mr Ogundoyin is currently representing Ibarapa East State Constituency in the state House of Assembly.
The 32-year-old lawmaker, who is a son of a foremost philanthropist in the state, Adesegun Ogundoyin, is a native of Eruwa.
While some residents of Eruwa said that the village belongs to Eruwa, residents of Lanlate say it is theirs. That may set the stage for a confrontation as the speaker has apparently donated the centre to Eruwa.
Residents told PREMIUM TIMES that the construction of the health facility at Lagaye village with an inscription that the village is part of Eruwa is generating tension which may soon degenerate into communal clash.
Residents of Lanlate are angry that the inscription reads, “Primary Healthcare Facility, Lagaye, Eruwa” instead of ‘Lagaye, Lanlate’.
Mr Ogundoyin officially commissioned the project last Saturday.
But a native of Eruwa, Ridwan Adedeji, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday noted that the village belongs to Eruwa.
“The village belongs to Eruwa. The Eleruwa installed Senator Peter Adeyemo as the Baale of the village,” he said.
But, checks by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that Lagaye village is one of the 45 villages under Lanlate, listed in the official gazette of Oyo state published in October 2016.
Lagaye is listed as one of the villages in Ibarapa North East Local Council Development Area (LCDA) where Lanlate is the headquarters.
Investigation revealed that Lanlate people are furious, over what they described as a deliberate attempt by the Speaker “to support his kinsmen from Eruwa in their bid to annex Lagaye village to Eruwa.”
Head of Lagaye Village, Adesokan Adegbaye, called on Governor Seyi Makinde “to carefully look into the matter and call the Speaker to order”.
“Lagaye Village belongs to Lanlate, and not Eruwa. There is Lagaye compound in Lanlate. Let Eruwa people show us where is Lagaye compound in their town. We are peace loving people, but our land remains our land.
“Eruwa people were accommodated to farm at Lagaye by our forefathers. They can never claim to be the land owners. They had taken different steps in the past to annexe our land but they failed.”
An indigene of Lanlate who prefers not to be named, noted that “Lanlate people have many documents to prove that the village belongs to them”.
He said Mr Ogundoyin’s donation has renewed the hostility and rivalry between the two towns.
The source, on Thursday insisted that the people of Lanlate have vowed to resist any attempt by anybody no matter how highly placed to rewrite the history of Lagaye.
“I want to be referred to as an anonymous but credible source. Let me start by saying that, I am from Lanlate. The issue is not even debatable because Lanlate community has many documentary facts that points to the fact that Lagaye is a village under Lanlate.
“First and foremost of these facts is that in Lanlate, there is a compound named Lagaye and this family are the ones that settled at Lagaye village many years back. Another fact is that even the Oyo State government recognises that Lagaye belongs to Lanlate. The only public primary school at Lagaye is named LA primary school, Lagaye, Lanlate.
“Senator Peter Adeyemo that is parading himself as the Baale of Lagaye graduated from that school and on his primary school leaving certificate, what was written was LA primary school, Lagaye, Lanlate.
“You can ask further that the mentioned senator should present his certificate. Or better still, make a visit to the ministry of education, Ibadan and ask for the file of the mentioned school for verification of my claim.
“Another fact is that the only polling unit at Lagaye before 1993 was under a ward in Lanlate. Ward 8, Isale togun, Lanlate.
“How does Eruwa come in? Eruwa people came to Lagaye a long time ago for farming purpose and Lanlate people accommodated them. They were in their numbers and they settled in the village having Lanlate people as their landlords.
“Due to the fact that many people of Lanlate extraction that were in the village had left for the township leaving behind Eruwa people who continued their farming business in the village gave them the audacity to start claiming that the village belongs to them
“There had been several intervention on the issue by the state government at different times and at the end of the days, Lanlate came out victorious. What the speaker has done is a renewal of the hostility and rivalry between the two towns.”
Meanwhile, the donor of the health facility, Mr Ogundoyin, when contacted, said “he had no comments on the issue”.
He, however, alleged that “some individuals in the two towns are behind the crisis due to their own selfish interest.”
The speaker in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, said, “I saw the message you sent. Over that issue, there is no comment.
“It is just a very inconsequential issue. I have no comment,” he added. “It is just some individuals that are behind it because of their own selfish interests.”