By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the oil rich Ugboland in llaje council area of Ondo state have embraced peace after over four years of crisis.
Governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu who brokered the peace in the community said that no meaningful development took place where there is disunity.
Consequently, a peace deal was sealed with the inuaguration of a 56-member Ugbo Development Congress (UDC) headed by Mr. Benson Obayelu and the Ugboland Council of Obas as well as Council of Chiefs.
Leaders of Ugboland who spoke at the inauguration ceremony held at Ugbo, agreed that their age long fracas hindered development in the community despite possessing huge oil and gas deposits.
Akeredolu, who was represented by his deputy, Hon Lucky Aiyetadiwa, predicted that affliction would not arise again in Ugboland as all warring factions agreed to work together.
“Ugboland is so richly blessed. The people cannot afford not to come together to achieve meaningful development.
“The bringing of traditional rulers together in Ugboland will contribute to ease of administration. We will continue to support you where necessary to ensure th noble move is sustained and improved upon”.
“Ugbo-Land, no doubt is a pride of Ondo State, not only because some of the prominent achievers of the State hail from the land, but for the fact that the reason the State is an Oil Producing State today is because the communities within Ugbo-Land are blessed with Oil and Gas resources which incidentally is the major contributor ( about 80% ) to Nigeria’s revenue” .
“As Government, while we commend you all for this, we will continue to engage with you and support you where necessary to ensure the set objectives of these ideas are sustained and improve upon where necessary” , declared the Governor.
Governor Akeredolu equally harped on the need for collaboration between security agencies and Traditional Rulers for the safety of all
” Ilaje is one of the hotbed Local Government in terms of cultist activities and this portends danger for us all” , he said.
“I implore parents and all of us to speak to our children and advise those that engage in the act to desist because, when the law catches up with them, it will be unpleasant” , he warned.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Paramount traditional ruler of Ugboland, the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Fedrick Akinruntan, said the fracas in Ugboland was deeply rooted saying kings were not seeing eyeball to eyeball.
Oba Akinruntan stated that he never believed peace could return to Ugboland during his reign even when the peace moves began four years ago.
“I can sleep well this night. I never expected to see some people here. I never knew they could settle this dispute.”
The Chairman of the UDC inauguration committee, Chief Olusola Oke, said peace has returned to Ugboland.
Oke added that the UDC would serve as a voice for Ugboland and ensured all things due it are delivered.