Runsewe, NUJ Initiate Peacetalks Between Arepo Monarch and Residents, Journalists Estate

Director General National Council for Arts and Culture, (NCAC) Otunba Segun Runsewe along with President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo and Chairman NUJ Lagos Council, Adeleye Ajayi, have initiated peace talks between Olu of Arepo in  Ogun State, Oba Solomon Atanda Oyebi and residents of Journalists Estate Phase One.

Runsewe who led the delegation to Oba Oyebi’s palace over the lingering feud in Arepo, border community of Ogun and Lagos States situated along Lagos – Ibadan expressway, enjoined the monarch who he describes as representative of government and custodian of security in his domain, to enschew peace among all residents living in his community.

R_L Otunba Segun Runsewe, Chairman Journalists Estate Phase One, Mrs. Funke Fadugba, President, NUJ, Chris Isiguzo and other residents of the estate

The Arts and Culture boss also admonished the monarch to understand the essence of a peaceful, safe and secured community as pivotal to economic and social development which the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari has been promoting.

Journalists Estate Residents Cry To Ogun Governor Over Attack By Arepo Monarch

Runsewe urged the Arepo monarch to see all residents as his subjects and prioritise the security of their lives and property in order to attract more meaningful developments from investors; emphasising also that, the issue of security is non-negotiable at such a time as the country finds itself.

Runsewe referenced how in 2003 he led the Lagos NUJ council under the chairmanship of Mrs. Olufunke Fadugba to Arepo to secure the Journalists’ land which today has grown to become global brand in the history of real estate.

The culture boss appealed to the monarch to see the recognition of his domain with the identity of Journalists Estates as a very positive drive for progress in the fast growing border community with proximity to Alausa, Lagos State.

According to Runsewe “Establishing two Journalists Estates here in Arepo and identifying such residential areas with a beautiful arch, should be seen as a positive brand identity that can boost growth and enhance development in Arepo community”

.The Arts and Culture boss who said he has the mandate of the Ogun State government and Abuja to initiate the peace discussions and to ensure the re-erection of the destroyed arch re-erected by residents of Journalists Estate said he would have to report back to the ministries of Information and Strategy as well as Local Government and Community Development that normalcy is back in Arepo.

“We would want to report back to both Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and Abuja, who gave us the authority of mediation that kabiyesi has accepted to the re-erection of the demolished arch by residents of Journalists Estate Phase One at the soonest opportunity; hence we need you to accede with your authority even though the government has given official approval”, Runsewe told the monarch.

L-R: Otunba Segun Runsewe, Olu of Arepo, Oba Solomon Atanda Oyebi, President NUJ, Chris Isiguzo and Chairman, NUJ Lagos Council, Adeleye Ajayi at the palace of Olu of Arepo

He reminded the monarch how Ogun State government in 2008 reconstructed and named the major community Road as Journalists Estate Road because of the presence of two Journalists Estates and equally upgraded the status of the monarch, all of which have contributed to the expansion and growth seen in the town.

Runsewe pleaded that the monarch meets with all warring parties and ensure that all court cases instituted as a result of the lingering crisis, particularly in respect of the right of passage on the portion of the road within Journalists Estate Phase One are withdrawn and reconciliation meetings held to put an end to the crisis that is putting Ogun State in bad light.

“Kabiyesi, with the ongoing road construction, you are about to experience more government development in your domain and you need the Journalists to identify and project you rightly; you really do not need the bad publicity which could likely embarrass the Ogun State government and the country as a whole”, Runsewe admonished.

The DG National Council for Arts and Culture announced that once peace is fully restored and all cases in court withdrawn, the Arts Council will establish a mini-museum in the palace of Olu of Arepo.

He reminded the monarch how Ogun State government in 2008 reconstructed and named the major community Road as Journalists Estate Road because of the presence of two Journalists Estates and equally upgraded the status of the monarch, all of which have contributed to the expansion and growth seen in the town.

Runsewe pleaded that the monarch meets with all warring parties and ensure that all court cases instituted as a result of the lingering crisis, particularly in respect of the right of passage on the portion of the road within Journalists Estate Phase One are withdrawn and reconciliation meetings held to put an end to the crisis that is putting Ogun State in bad light.

DG Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe
Chairman. Journalists Estate Phase One, Arepo, Mrs. Funke Fadugba

“Kabiyesi, with the ongoing road construction, you are about to experience more government development in your domain and you need the Journalists to identify and project you rightly; you really do not need the bad publicity which could likely embarrass the Ogun State government and the country as a whole”, Runsewe admonished.

The DG National Council for Arts and Culture announced that once peace is fully restored and all cases in court withdrawn, the Arts Council will establish a mini-museum in the palace of Olu of Arepo.

In his remark, Isiguzo asked the Olu of Arepo to embrace the olive branch offered by the delegation and call everyone together for a conversation on how to ensure peace in his domain, Arepo, especially with Journalists.

Isiguzo noted that Journalists are very essential and endangered professionals who are loved all over the world and that it is very difficult to hate Journalists because of their kind of trade and the position they occupy in any society.

” All over the world, brand identities exist so also the security of lives of Journalists has become non-negotiable due to the nature of their job, so we would appeal that you support the moves to reconcile all parties and secure all lives especially those of Journalists in your domain “, Isiguzo canvassed.

He disclosed that state Governors of Nasarawa, Bauchi, Oyo, and others have already taken the positive cue from Ogun State and are giving lands to NUJ to establish more Journalists Estates  “because of the success and antecedents of Lagos NUJ Council which continues to be the reference point all over the world; and it would really be a shame if the pilot Journalists Estates in Ogun State are now experiencing such crisis from the host community, Arepo”, Isiguzo lamented.

Also speaking at the peace meeting, chairman, Arepo community development committee, (CDC), Ganiyu Kazeem expressed delight at the peace moves initiated by Otunba Runsewe and the leadership of Journalists, NUJ,  urging Oba Oyebi to reconsider the situation in Arepo town which is fast degenerating and seize the opportunity to promote peace among all members of the community.

The Olu of Arepo in his response said, he is not aversed to the reconciliation moves by the delegation but would need to hold a meeting with his council members and then fix a meeting for another time to give feedback.

He expressed his distaste at the unprecedented media reports in the last two weeks which he noted “defamed”  his office and personality in the eye of the public.

Oyebi however agreed that government reserves the right to name the road in his community which it has done, and, likewise the reconstruction of the same road in the community.

He assures that lives of all residents of Arepo including those residing in the two foremost Journalists Estates and their families are safe and secure.

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