The creation of Local Government Development Authorities (LCDAs) in Ekiti State have continued to elicit reactions as the people of Ayede Ekiti protested the citing of the headquarters of Ifesowapo LCDA in Isan-Ekiti, the governor’s country home.
The President, Ayede Ekiti Progressives Union, Dr. Ayo Ajayi, who expressed the community’s anger over the development alleged that it was an abomination for Ayede-Ekiti to come under Isan-Ekiti under whatever guise.
Ajayi argued that the town was the headquarters of Ayede district as far back as 1936, which had other component towns like Ijelu, Iyemero, Omo Odo, Ipao Ekiti, Itapaji, Oke Ako, Irele under it.
Though Ajayi clarified that “We won’t take the government to court. We are not going to protest, carry placards or fight, but we will continue to persuade the governor to accede to our request. We are friends and we will remain that forever.
“Ayede people are not saying they should remove the headquarters from Isan Ekiti but we deserve an LCDA. We have all it takes to handle an LCDA. Ayede had suffered a lot of humiliation. We have not been treated well in this LCDA matter”, he stated.
He explained that the town had been a centre of development and industrialisation before 1955 when a dam and Gede Farm settlement, as well as many educational institutions, were established in the town.
The community leader however said that the town felt belittled and degraded with the citing of the LCDA headquarters in Fayemi’s town without considering Ayede Ekiti.
Ajayi, therefore appealed to Fayemi to reconsider his position and create a new LCDA for Ayede Ekiti, clarifying that the town was not in any way asking for the removal of the one already sited at Isan Ekiti, but insisted that the governor has to be fair to the aggrieved town as a friendly neighbour.
Governor Fayemi signed the bill for the creation of 19 LCDAs into law on August 6, thereby raising the number of local governments in Ekiti to 35.
“Towards the end of Fayemi’s tenure in 2014, the government put the headquarters of Ifesowapo at Bamisile land and named it Bamisile land, Isan Ekiti. The people of Ayede objected to it. Bamisile is not a town, but a piece of land in Ayede.
“Meanwhile, Ayede Ekiti people and a majority of the towns had already agreed on the name of the LCDA as Ifesowapo and Ayede Ekiti as the headquarters through the committee set up by the monarchs in that axis when the initial idea of the new LCDAs was mooted.
“Ayede Ekiti is one of the three largest towns in Oye local government and the second-largest revenue generation town.
“Ayede Ekiti has historical and economic backgrounds and therefore has the legitimate right to claim to be headquarters of an LCDA where we are the principal stakeholder and largest revenue contributor.
“The current action of relegating Ayede Ekiti into the background is quite provoking”.
Another leader in the community, Chief Kayode Adetifa, the former Chairman of Oye local government under Niyi Adebayo -led government, revealed that in the 1963 census, Isan Ekiti had a population of 4,491, while Ayede had 13,363, which he said gave it a better prospect to be considered for development.