A royal tussle ensued in Ogun state on Thursday when two popular royal fathers in the state engaged themselves in altercations over a supremacy battle.
The rage between the royal fathers; the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and the Olota of Ota, Oba Abdulkabir Obalanlege commenced when the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun upgraded some High Chiefs from Baales to coronet Obas at the last minute of his administration.
The development, according to information, affected no fewer than 75 Obas including the monarchs in Atan in Ado-Odo Ota local government where the rancour erupted.
Both the Alake and the Olota got embroiled in the crisis following the claims of ownership of Atan, Ota, Sango, Iju, Gbalefa, Abule Lemomu, Oke-Ore, and Adekoyeni.
Oba Gbadebo had claimed to be the rightful authority to install a monarch in Atan, saying the 1942 conquest of Ota gave the Egba the ownership right over the contested townships.
The Alake also claimed that the Olota is under his (Alake) consenting authority.
But in a swift response while refuting the claim, the Olota said putting an Olota under the Alake is both a traditional misnomer and historic fallacy.
While the contest was going between the monarchs, the current state governor, Dapo Abiodun, reversed the policy that was initially made by Amosu.
However, despite the development, the monarchs had continued to exchange words over the ownership of the villages mentioned.
Speaking in his Palace, the Alake through the spokesperson of the Alake in council, Chief Lai Labode said: “We wish to categorically reaffirm that the incumbent Alake, or his predecessors, had never and would never, install, impose or induce Obas, Baales or Chiefs on any community or people, outside Egbaland.
“The issues call for more education and enlightenment on who had traditional authority on the villages, Peninsula, referred to as Gbalefela. Records revealed that the Egbas waged against Ota and in 1841 conquered it and the surrounding villages and as well occupied them. “We also seriously call on the Ogun state commissioner of Police to intervene in the excesses and one-sided activities of the police, instigated harassments of the Egba indigenes in the area.
“We specifically refer to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and his men at Onipanu, near Ota, who were supposed to enforce peace and as well ask aggrieved people on land or Chieftaincy matters to go to court, but he and his men would rather be detaining innocent people and serially wasting their time. We unequivocally declare that we are not comfortable with the policing in that area.
“How we wish that, the Olota, Obalanlege, who was himself aware and was officially and legally installed under the same Declaration, had re-educated, re guided and updated the purported spokesman of the Olota-in-council, on a very traditional but simple the procedure, this led to the emergence of the Olota, if he doesn’t appreciate the authority of the Alake, who gave his consent within few hours, when his selection by the Olota kingmakers letter arrived at the Ake Palace.
“Please note that Alake forwarded his approval same day to Ogun State government.”
In his response to Alake’s claim, the Olota said that the settlement of the Awori people in Ogun state preceded the establishment of Abeokuta as an Egba kingdom in 1830.
His words: “Though I am presently on official assignment in Switzerland, I need to remind Alake of Ake that in Ogun State, the settlement of Awori people preceded the establishment of Abeokuta as the Egba Kingdom in 1830. “Otta, the foremost Awori town within the present Ogun state and which is the industrial nerve centre, for instance, has been in existence since the 15th century.
“The first Olota, Oba Ikoriku Toribo was coronated in 1621, while the first Alake in Abeokuta, Sagbua Okukenu was crowned on 8th August, 1854. It goes without saying that putting an Olota under an Alake is both a traditional misnomer and historic fallacy.
“The Ife palace, where the crowns came from knows better! Never in history has Otta been captured by the Egbas, rather we rescued them from Oyo invasion”.
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