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Owu’s illegitimate claim of Iju Ota: Late Oba Timothy Dada is Complicit of the Aworis Quagmire; Azeem Salako

*Owu’s illegitimate claim of Iju Ota: Late Oba Timothy Dada is Complicit of the Aworis Quagmire; Azeem Salako.*

30th April 2021.

The lingering crisis between the Aworis and Owus over the ownership of Iju Ota, an area in Ado/Odo-Ota local government in ogun state is yet unresolved.

The incumbent Olota of Ota HRM Oba Prof Abdul Kabir Adeyemi Obalanlege recently installed a Baale who act as the traditional administrator of Iju Ota community, but the state government has continued to recognize one Mr. Sodeinde who was installed by the Olowu of Owu Egba land, as the Oniju of Iju Ota.

The Aworis, particularly the Ota people have continued in their protracted resistance to this development. They referred to it as a brazen expansionist attack on their land by the Owus, an extraction of the Egba ethnic group.

Speaking on the matter, Azeem Oladimeji Salako, an indigene of Ota-Awori kingdom, a political scientist, public intellectual and foremost Ota Awori irredentist analysed the issue and traced it’s source to what he implied as the conspiracy theory of the late Olota of Ota, Oba Timothy Talabi Dada and the then Ota District Officer which took place in the colonial era.

Azeem noted that the current impostor/pretender to the throne of the purported kingship, Mr. O Sodeinde, an aged man, was recommended as the Baale of Iju Ota-Awori Kingdom by the late Olota of Ota Oba Timothy Talabi Dada whom at that time was not a king but the Oloregan of Ota, a title adjudged with no traditional significance in Ota traditional institution. He said Chief Dada (as he then was) carried out this action in his capacity as a self-appointed representative of Ota, ostensibly against the interest of the Ota community in view of the colonial government’s deliberate and desperate interest to include non-indigenes in the composition of Ota district administration.

This attempt, Azeem narrated, was ab initio rejected by the then incumbent Olota of Ota, Oba Salami Oyede who emphasized that his position reflects the aggregated opinion of the Ota community, but the district officer while reporting to the provincial head claimed that the king’s opinion was his personal and devlish sentiment which did not depict the interest of the Ota people.

Continuing, Azeem Salako said another jejune survey with a predetermined outcome which now had Mr. TT Dada (who would later become the Olota of Ota) as the representative of Ota, colonially appointed to partner the district officer in the conduct of a new survey claimed and reported that the opinion of the Olota of Ota was truly borne out of greediness, selfserving, and retrogressing. It was said that the people of Ota in their large numbers trooped out in euphoria to queue behind the nomination of Mr. Sodeinde as their representative in Iju Ota-Awori kingdom.

The Ota Awori irredentist said, this was the exact decision that made Mr. Femi Sodeinde the representative of Iju Ota. Wherein, his prominence metamorphosizes into, and gravitate his Baaleship; which former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, an Owu notorious expansionist, with the collision and conspiracy of few indigenous but power lust in Ota, elevated and exalted to the position of a KING.

Azeem furthered by saying the quagmire of the Ota people regarding Iju-Ota, is clearly histo-geo-political and with full-time power-relations drawing actors from the colonial and post-colonial period. He said the histo-geo-political theory must be conceived to understand the total gamut of the issue.

He lamented that he expect this historical fact to feature in some books including the one authored by the son of the late monarch, Senator Prince Gbolahan Dada to put the issue in proper perspective in a bid to find a lasting solution to it.

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