As part of the activities to mark the anniversary of his first year in office, the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Debo Ogundoyin, on the 12th of June, commissioned a primary health care centre.
However, this project might be on the verge of causing a ‘communal war’ between the two main communities in the local government, Eruwa and Lanlate.
The project commissioned by the speaker was located at Lagaye village but the genesis of the clash is that the inscription on the project read: Lagaye, Eruwa.
The people of Lanlate, however, see this as an attempt by the speaker to ‘contribute’ to the attempt to “hijack” the ownership and control of Lagaye village from them to the people of Eruwa — his hometown.
Speaking with journalists, the head of the family of Lagaye quarters in Lanlate, Adesokan Adebaye, explained that Eruwa people were allowed by their forefathers to farm on their property when they gently approached them; and they were allowed on mutual and friendship sake.
“Lagaye village’s compound is located in Lanlate because the village is a customary grantee to Labebe Ruling house in Lanlate. Lagaye also has an extended family in Igbo Ora, Ibarapa central LGA,” he said.
He explained further that the people of Lagaye accommodated the people of Eruwa to farm only and not to claim their heritage or territory.
“Their first attempt to take over the land we never sold to them was when they tried to change the name of L.A Primary School, Lagaye, Lanlate to L.A Primary School, Lagaye, Eruwa but this attempt was foiled after an official summon by the ministry of education where each communities presented their facts.”
Another indigene of the town, who pleaded anonymity, alleged that the attempt to take over the ownership of the village by the people of Eruwa became heightened when Senator Peter Adeyemo, an indigene of Eruwa, used his position to influence the movement of Lagaye village from an electoral unit under ward 8 in Lanlate to another unit under ward 5 in Eruwa.
The source added that if the speaker fails to change the inscription on the project, “the communal row he is fuelling can turn violent because the people of Lanlate are not happy” and “the movement is still generating bad blood among the youths”.
Similarly, another member of the Lagaye family stated that the step taken by the speaker is “an attempt to raise or propose claim on Lagaye village to his people in Eruwa”.
He noted that the people of Lanlate can’t fold their arms in the face of injustice.
He advised the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to call the speaker to order “by removing the plaque title inscribed on the project to bear the right name of the host family and right community where the project is situated.”
However, when OYOINSIGHT.COM contacted the media aide to the speaker, Mr. Ojebola Matthew, he described the claim that the speaker’s project is fuelling communal war as untrue.
This is because, according to him, the speaker has nothing to do with it.
Hear him: “The project in Lagaye is for the community, it is the community that wrote what they represent on the place. So the speaker has delivered the project for the benefit of the people.
“Any communal issue between Eruwa and Lanlate will be resolved by the communities. So the speaker has nothing to do with any communal clash or whatever. The motive of the speaker is to do well which he has done by building the community healthcare centre he promised the community.”
He also noted that Lagaye has existed for decades and the speaker is too young to interfere in such issues adding that “both communities have leaders within the community who can sort any issue they might have.”