Ekiti communities disagree over location of federal college of education

*FCE genuinely located in Ilawe, not anywhere else – Alawe
*Institution approved for Omuo, it should be returned – Olomuo

Two communities in Ekiti South Senatorial District, Ilawe Ekiti in Ekiti South West LG and Omuo Ekiti in Ekiti East LG have since weekend been sharply disagreed over the location of a federal college of education in the state.

While the people of Ilawe Ekiti hailed the Federal Government for establishing the institution in their community, the Omuo Ekiti community described citing it outside their town as injustice which the present administration should redress.

The Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, had on Friday lauded the Federal Government for the establishment of a college of education in Ilawe Ekiti, saying, “The institution marks another federal presence in Ekiti State and a positive development in Ilawe”.

But protest erupted in Omuo Ekiti on Saturday as the people of the community trooped to the streets as early as 9am to condemn and reject alleged relocation of the institution billed for their town to Ilawe Ekiti, describing is as injustice.

A community leader at Omuo Ekiti, Chief Segun Akanle, who said that the FCE was originally slated for Omuo Ekiti, appealed to President Bola Tinubu and Ekiti State Governor, Mr Abiodun Oyebanji, to come to the rescue of Omuo Ekiti by returning the Federal College of Education to the town.

Akanle who said Omuo Ekiti community had been working for the establishment of the FCE for over 10 years, said, “We have 12 communities in Ekiti East and there is no federal or state presence in any of them. A bill establishing the FCE here has been passed and waiting for president’s assent before some people went through the backdoor to alter the location of the school”.

The Olomuo of Omuo Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin, said he was a participant at the public hearings by the Senate leading to the establishment of the school in both 8th and 9th sessions.

“We presented memo to the august legislative assembly. We wonder how someone who has not asked for a thing would be given. I urge President Tinubu to correct this injustice and return the institution to Omuo Ekiti,” the traditional ruler said.

But the Alawe, Oba Alabi, on Monday faulted the claim of the people of Omuo Ekiti on the Federal College of Education located in his community.

This was as the monarch set up a 12-member committee headed by a renowned don, Prof. Bode Asubiojo, for the seamless take-off of the newly established Federal College of Education in the community.

The Alawe, in a statement by his media adviser, Chief Ajibade Olubunmi, said, “The FCE, Ilawe Ekiti was approved and located or sited in Ilawe Ekiti and nowhere else as against claims being peddled by some people in Omuo Ekiti.

Alabi said, “You only talk of relocation when there was an earlier location. The bill being mentioned by the Omuo Ekiti people did not go through Third Reading and never got approval of the Senate. Moreover, it never got to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

“Whereas Alawe and his people made requests in writing and communicated with Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education since 2016 and got an approval. So there is no need for someone to mention or talk of relocation”, the monarch said.

Meanwhile the Alawe, who said that the provost of the FCE had contacted him and made his intention to swing into action immediately known, directed the 12-member committee to “work at the speed of light”.

The monarch charged the committee to “seek for suitable accommodation for the provost and other principal officers of the college” and as well secure adequate and conducive permanent site for the institution among other assignments.

He listed members of the committee as Prof. Asubiojo (Chairman), Prof Ifedayo Akomolede, Prof Olusola Odeyemi, Chief Gbenga Agbona, Emmanuel Abereowo, Sir Lawrence Egunjobi, Chief Funke Anjorin, Chief John Jegede, Mr Richard Apolola, Mr Ajayi Igodan, Mr Richard Apata and Chief Olubunmi (Secretary).

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