Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State & Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State
Ondo Royal House Refutes Alleged Land Grabbing Claim By Ogun Community
The royal house of Maporure of Aheri-land in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, has refuted claim by an Ogun State community, which accused them of land grabbing.
A self-styled leader of an Ogun State community, Buari Ola Balogun, of Onirokun of Irokun’, an Ogun Waterside Local Government Area, Ogun State, was said to have published a story in the August 15, 2022, edition of the Nigerian Tribune with the caption ‘Ogun Community Raises Alarm Over Takeover of Land By Ondo State.
But in a swift response to the said alleged land grabbing story, the accused community through their lawyer, Ige Asemudara of Royal Practice, have urged their Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) to ignore the said such insignificant tantrum.
The royal house said the land which the Ogun Community accused them of taking over, from time immemorial is coterminous with the Ward is the most westerly of the four Ilaje Kingdoms with its littoral boundary extending to Olosunmeta on the Lekki Peninsula corridor as long determined even before Nigeria became a British Protectorate and later a colony in 1900.
The royal house also claimed that the Ogun Community made same attempt but was rejected in the hinterland of the territory forcing the contrived Ijebu Waterside to be changed to Ogun Waterside, in the false hopes of appropriating the Ilaje/Ikale territories along the Itebu Elero/Ayila corridor. And that in recent times, the National Boundary Commission, in agreement with all stakeholders, had to resort to ethnographic analysis to resolve the unwarranted crises.
The royal house therefore, called on the government of Ondo State and other well meaning investors, to ignore the tantrums from the likes of Buari and his amorphous but cowardly principals.
The royal house letter to Governor Akeredolu written by their lawyer reads: “Re: Ogun Community Raises Alarm Over Takeover Of Land By Ondo State.
“The above subject-matter in the Nigerian Tribune of August 15, 2022 refers.
“We are Solicitors to the royal dynasty of the Maporure of Aheri-land in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. Our Client has drawn our attention to the above-captioned publication with instructions to correct the several false claims made therein by one Buari Ola Balogun purporting himself as the ‘Onirokun of Irokun’, a community forming part of the ancient territory of Aheriland and to urge your Excellency to ignore such insignificant tantrum.
“In the said publication, the self-styled Onirokun falsely claimed that Araromi- Seaside was in the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State contrary to the truth that Araromi is squarely within the Aheri Ward of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State and not even a border community.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Aheri land which is coterminous with the Ward is the most westerly of the four Ilaje Kingdoms with its littoral boundary extending to Olosunmeta on the Lekki Peninsula corridor as long determined even before Nigeria became a British Protectorate and later a colony in 1900.
“It is the fact of its territorial contiguity with Lagos that the British Government, by an Act of the Nigerian Legislative Council, on the 29th day of November 1895, extended the laws of the Colony of Lagos to Ilaje land and by which it was declared part of the Colony. Attempts later to alter this well defined boundary and territory for political exigencies has been the source of unending crises between Ondo/Abeokuta Provinces which birthed the present Ondo and Ogun States, particularly when Ijebu was crafted from Abeokuta in 1915 with a rejected policy to create costal territory for Ijebu on part of the western fringe of Ilaje soil.
“Your Excellency, the same attempt was rejected in the hinterland of the territory forcing the contrived Ijebu Waterside to be changed to Ogun Waterside in the false hopes of appropriating the Ilaje/Ikale territories along the Itebu Elero/ Ayila corridor. In recent times, the National Boundary Commission, in agreement with all stakeholders, had to resort to ethnographic analysis to resolve the unwarranted crises.
“In the final analysis, we state without equivocation that both Araromi and Irokun are one hundred percent Ilaje communities and within the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. No state or ethnic group is in dispute with us over them.
“Even on traditional and historical grounds, it is necessary to educate Mr. Buari Balogun that the correct title of the Oba of Irokun is Olurokun and not Onirokun and that Ogbelege whose name Buari proudly but falsely sought to adopt, was a descendant of Oba Adanigbo a past Maporure of Aheri-land. There is no Ruling House or family of Ijebu origin in Irokun.
“Our Clients state that this Buari was the same impostor who, in 2011 claimed to have missed his way into Irokun in a leaky boat through the Alape River in search of a throne having allegedly been made an Oba somewhere in Ijebu without a visible stool. He left immediately and miserably when he was confronted by the reality on ground. The last we heard of him was his being a sojourner in Ise, somewhere in Lagos State. The claim of Buari being on a possible monarchical visit to Araromi Sea-Side is nothing but a grand and theatrical delusion.
“Our Clients note the antics of some enemies of progress who are often used as obstructive agents from Ogun State against any new projects with a view to scarring away investors in the coastal areas of Ondo State. This was the experience on programmes initially designed for the Olokola project.
“Therefore, the Government of Ondo State and other well meaning investors are advised to ignore the tantrums from the likes of Buari and his amorphous but cowardly principals.
“Please accept the assurance of our esteemed regards Sir!
ige Asemudara Esq.