The Olota-in-Council has raised the alarm over plots by certain persons it did not name to instal non-indigenes as obas in Aworiland.
The alarm was raised on Wednesday by the Seriki of Otta, High Chief Olanrewaju Bashorun, at a news conference in Abeokuta on behalf of the Olota-in-Council.
Bashorun said available information has it that arrangements had been concluded to instal obas and baales in several Awori towns before the end of May.
He listed the towns to include Sango Otta, Atan Otta, Ijoko Otta, Abule Lemomu, Oke Ore and Adekoyeni, adding that such move would be resisted.
He said the installation of any oba in Aworiland without the consent of the Olotta of Otta, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, will not be recognised by the people.
The alarm raised by Bashorun came a few hours after the Ogun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chief Jide Ojuko, quit the cabinet of the outgoing Governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, over the same issue.
Though Bashorun referred to Amosun as a friend of the Awori in his statement, he was accused by Oduko as having imposed an Oba of Egba extraction on the people of Awori in 2018, which led to his decision to quit his cabinet.
Amosun is an Egba man.
Going by the allegation of Bashorun, Amosun is believed to be bent on installing more obas and baales who are not from Aworiland on the people.
The statement by Bashorun to the press on Wednesday reads in full:
AN ADDRESS BY THE OLOTA IN COUNCIL ON THE ISSUE OF IMPOSITION OF OBAS IN AWORILAND DELIVERED BY THE SERIKI OF OTTA, HIGH CHIEF OLANREWAJU BASHORUN TODAY 15th May, 2019 AT NUJ SECRETARIAT (IWE IROYIN) IN ABEOKUTA
DistinguishedGentlemen of the Press
It is not a frequent practice that the Olota in Council will call a press conference to address matters concerning culture and tradition of the people. But there is an apparent intent or suspicion of intent to discredit the will, distort the culture and breach the tradition of the people, it is not always right to keep silent in the face of such indiscretion.
We are surprised to hear from credible sources, that certain elements are bent on foisting some people without traceable histories within Aworiland as Obas and Baales in some Awori towns. Ordinarily, we would have ignored this as another way of causing dissatisfaction and mischief against the Government of the day and our good people.
H.E Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA, CON has been a friend of the Awori people and a good leader without any baggage of bias and injustice. We are therefore surprised that at the twilight of his administration, some people opposed to peace and probably envious of our healthy relationship are raising issues that could tamper with the tremendous goodwill he enjoys with the people of Otta and Aworiland in general. We believe he will not fall into their scheme.
Indeed, we have been told that against conscience, common sense and justice that some new Obas, whose ancestors were not biologically, historically and circumstantially linked with the Awori nor had any affiliation with the kingship institution, would be installed before the end of the month. Any such action or endeavour without the consent of Olota of Otta is an exercise in futility and would be resisted with every legitimate means available to us.
The affected Awori towns we learnt are Sango Otta, Atan Otta, Ijoko Otta, Abule Lemomu, Oke Ore and Adekoyeni among others. Our people are peace-loving, but impositions like these are tantamount to taking our patience beyond limit. Yoruba’s are known to be cultured people. Nobody without blue blood running in their veins and properly nominated by a Ruling House can ascend the traditional stool in our culture. We say no to this and ordination of non-princes as king cannot stand.
It is an established historical fact that the Olota is the prescribed traditional authority over all the land, towns and villages with the suffix Otta, including Sango-Otta, Atan Otta and all others. It therefore amounts to a denigration of that sacred institution that has endured for over 500years without recourse to the traditional ruler. The first Olota was installed in 1621. It is sad that the already marginalized Awori people’s will is being tested this way. We cannot fold our hands to any further subjugation.
As peace – loving people, we call on all men and women of goodwill, traditional and religious leaders, statesmen and women, community leaders, security agencies and political leaders to stop whoever is poised to foment trouble in the name of installing non-Awori’s as Obas in Aworiland. It is our belief that H.E Governor Ibikunle Amosun FCA, CON is a man of peace and may not be aware of this sad development. We hereby call on him to speedily convene a Security Council meeting to nip in the bud the activities of these merchants of discord in our communities and prevent such illegal installations from taking place. As our people say “ibere ogun laamo, ko seeni to nmo igbehin ogun”.
We thank you all, gentlemen of the press for the prompt response to our call.