Aworis under the aegis of Awori Welfare Association (AWAN) has on Tuesday in a press conference held at the Awori House in Ikeja, Lagos dared the Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Prince Tajudeen Olusi to retract the statement credited to him that there are no people known as Aworis in Lagos and Yoruba land or be ready to face legal actions.
It will be recalled that Prince Olusi in a recent interview said that there are no Aworis in Yoruba land. “I want to tell you that there are no Aworis in Yoruba land. We don’t have a tribe called Awori at all. These are just other people who came to Lagos through another route from the hinterland, like Ile-Ife. Awori is just a description of how they got to where they settled.”
A statement which the Awori welfare Association has strongly condemned through a press release by the National President of the association, Chief Solomon Ayinde Ojolowo who described the statement of Prince Olusi as unexpected, mischievous, misguided and obvious false declaration from a Political leader of his kind and a Bini Prince of a late Oba in Lagos who ought to know the rich history of the Aworis, having acted as the Secretary to the Lagos Royal House and has at one time declared that a number of Chiefs within the state and outside took their origin from the Awori settlement of the 15th century.
Chief Ojolowo said that the Awori people of Lagos constitutes the largest percentage of the total indigenous population of the state. “Awori of Lagos constitute the largest single ethnic sub-group in the state, constituting about 75 per cent of the population.”
He also added that out of the original 20 local government areas in Lagos State, the Aworis formed the indigenous population of 17 LGAs. Listing Lagos Island, Ojo, Badagry, Amuwo-Odofin, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Apapa, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin, Agege, Ikeja, Alimosho, Kosofe, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Surulere, Shomolu and Ifako-Ijaye as the local government areas which the Aworis settled in.
On why strangers were allowed to be crowned as kings in Lagos, Chief Ojolowo said the provision of Ifa divination in the olden days paved way for strangers who had a beaded crown to become king in the town.
“On consultation of the Ifa Oracle, the Ifa Priest sometimes would say that a visitor was on the way to the town, or that they should look out for a stranger or visitor who would arrive early in the morning and should be conscripted and crowned as Oba. This is how the Bini became Obas in some places where they settled in Awori land.”
Howbeit, Prince Olusi has been advised to either declare that there is no tribe like Bini, Oyo, Ibadan, Ogbomosho and others or he outrightly retract or rephrase his false statements through same media of his interview or the entire Aworis will join issues with him in the court of law.
“As a matter of necessity, Prince Olusi is advised to either declare that there is no tribe like Bini, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Ibadan and others because there are also extractions of Yoruba origin whose names came into being by specific circumstances just like that of Awori or he outrightly retract or rephrase his false statements through the same media of his interview or else the entire Awori people will join issues with him in the court of law in order to set records straight.”
The AWAN President also admonished Awori Obas to rally round in order to ensure that the Chairmanship of the state council of Obas is reversed to an Awori Oba or at least, rotated among the five administrative divisions of Lagos state.
The creme-de-la-creme of Aworis in Lagos however, graced the press conference. Some of whom were; Dr. Agbabiaka, President, Ikeja Division Forum, Rev. Dr. J.I Akindele, former Secretary to the state government, , Architect, Demola Taiwo, Rtd Permanent Secretary, Chief Muhammed Olagbaye, former Commissioner for Finance, Chief Bankole, Baale of Mugba, Ota, Professor Nathaniel Olubowale, Mr. Adewale Williams, a representative of Ooni of Ife, among several others.