Sango-Otta Was Never A War Camp, It Belongs To The Aworis” Chief Nasirudeen Deinde, Former Ifo/Ota Local Government Chairman
The recent Ogun west publication, where one Gbohun Adebayo despite repeated governmental pronunciation and judicial verdicts from numerous courts of competent jurisdiction admonished him never to act or be addressed as a monarch, he kept on defying and rubbishing those institutions on the pretext of baseless stories.
OTTA, SANGO-OTTA IN BRIEF.
Otta happens to be one of several Awori towns or settlement, occupying south western part of Ogun state with influence stretching into Lagos State as the State also has a substantial Awori towns and people there. Otta has it’s unique traditional institution which dates back to 1621 when the first Oba reigned, there are four major quarters, which is traditional to most Awori towns and several settlements or villages under Otta where natives and non-natives undertake farming and related economic activities. One of such settlements happens to be Sango-Otta (the suffix indicating it being part of Otta). Sango-Otta is an integral part of Ijana quarter, one of the four major quarters earlier talked about.
Economic activities and the situation of the major highway running from Lagos through Sango-Otta up to Abeokuta opened the once quiet Otta settlement to influx of people, commerce and industry of monumental magnitude, culminating in having people of diverse tribe coming together.
LATE HENRY OLUWOLE ADEBAYO
Reflecting on historical facts, Gbohun Adebayo’s late father, Henry Oluwole migrated to Otta from Ilesha to work as a dispenser. He was accommodated hospitably and treated like an indigene by the Aworis as a way of showing their goodwill nature, to the extent of having to reside in places like Isoloshi compound at a time, then Ijemo compound at a later time before eventually building his own house , on a portion of Omiyale family land in Sango-Otta.
The magnanimity of the Awori-Otta people made it possible for his father Henry Oluwole who came to Otta as a tenant, grew and developed into having to build his own house, marry many Awori women except Gbohun’s mother.
In 1925, one Moses Folarin Olowu ( an Ijebu man) purchased sixty seven acres of land from one J K Coker for £75. The location of the said portion is the Ipamesan area in Sango-Otta.
In the olden days, limits of land are marked using wooden boards with the inscription of the name of the land owner written boldly on it.
The owner of the land actually bears Olowu, which was conspicuously written on his land. He has no link or ties with the Owu people.
Hence, that does not in any way ascribe the ownership or prescribed authority of any part of Awori land, Sango-Otta in particular to the Owu people. Moreover the area of prescribed authority of Olowu does not exceed a section of Abeokuta North Local Government.
There exists a celebrated case between Moses Folarin Olowu and some Awori in 1935, at Otta Customary court in suit: 104/35 for further verification.
FALSE CLAIM OF CONQUEST
Awori are brave warriors, at no time did Awori land was overrun by any tribe or ethnic group, our dirge ( Oriki; Iganmode Afeleja, afikoti yoju Egba afi ponpodo y’oju Ketu.) is an attestation to this!
The period Mr Gbohun Adebayo claimed Awori land was conquered was a time the second storey building in Nigeria was constructed; it was in this building Bishop Ajayi Crowder translated Bible from English to Yoruba language.
To further puncture the false conquest claim, who was the monarch that led the war as at the period Mr Gbohun claimed Aworiland was conquered? There was no leader or monarch in Egbaland until 1854, with this Mr Gbohun Adebayo and his gangs should please tell the whole world, under which leader the false war was fought?
Convention from history is for a conqueror to install a new administrative head loyal to him in any conquered territory! In the case of Sango-Otta whom did they installed or appointed as the monarch? (We are all conversant with Ilorin and the Zulu-Gambari connection).
His claim that Awori people begged for land after being conquered is best described as a lie from the pit of hell. From time immemorial till present day, Awori are the custodian and administrator on their lands, this they administer with no hindrance or recourse to any other tribe. Gbohun Adebayo’s father and many other people of all tribes are tenants on Awori land. Even an influential Owu man known to most Nigerians and the world do openly attests to being a tenant of the Aworis.
ASCENSION OF THRONE
We are convinced that Mr Gbohun Adebayo is abreast with the procedure and rituals of ascending the throne in Yoruba land with the exception of Ibadan, it is only from the privileged title holding families monarchs are selected from. It is however degrading for him to say people gather under a tree somewhere to vote for who becomes the head of Sango-Otta. This is the height of mischief!
The voting that is done in Yoruba land for the emergence of monarchs now, is as a result of multiple interest by candidates from the royal families.
HENRY OLUWOLE ADEBAYO WAS NEVER A BAALE IN SANGO-OTTA
After gaining much prominence in Sango-Otta in his dispensing job and religious activities, his late father made a move to become a Baale in which the Aworis in Sango-Otta and the rest of Awori settlement were animus in his rejection, this has nothing to do with sitting under any tree to decide.
In his desperation, his late father approached the court in a bid to claim what he is not entitled to. In view of the overwhelming facts and evidence of the Aworis, his father and the rest of his gangs pleaded for the case to be withdrawn from court for out of court settlement thus: suit no ; HCT/19/88. The court granted for the issue to be settled hence; the following signed for the claimants: Chief H.O. Adebayo, Alhaji (Chief) R.A. Olundegun and Chief Lasisi Akinremi. While Oba T.T. Dada and Chief J. Akinbiyi Ojo signed on behalf of the defendants.
JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE VERDICTS
Over the years, Awori people of Sango-Otta have been able to prove to the world that they are the rightful people to exercise traditional and customary rights on their inheritance. Countless court cases gave credence to this. Also governmental pronouncements are regularly issued to set the record straight.
Despite all these, Mr Gbohun Adebayo and his gangs, relying on the backing of some powers disobey judicial verdicts, likewise statutory warnings. The reason for blatant and outright disregard is baffling.
NEED FOR GOVERNMENTAL DECISIVENESS
Where there are no laws, breach exists. In order to have sanity, limits to eliminate breach of extant rules, government in her wisdom fashion out various laws to regulate activities in the society. We are constantly amazed at the display of disregard for rule of law by Mr Gbohun Adebayo and his gangs.
This makes us shudder in bewilderment if they are special being or there are special laws for him and his gangs. We still have a firm believe that the government will from now ensure strict adherence to laid down rules for the sanity and maintenance of peace in the polity.
NEEDLESS SEED OF DISCORD
Awori people anywhere are hospitable to a fault. The result of which makes the likes of Gbohun Adebayo and the rest of his mischievous gangs to be laying claim to what they are not entitled to.
Over the years, Awori people have lived peacefully and currently doing same with numerous settlers on our lands. We are known to be contented with the little we have and makes no attempt to overstretch with our luck into claiming that which we are not entitled to. Having accommodated people with open minds, it is however ridiculous for a few amongst them to make furtive moves to rewrite our history and divide our heritage in to a hostile one.
The action of Gbohun Adebayo and his gangs could only sow an evil seed which we shall strive not to allow it see the light of the day.
To all peace loving settlers on Awori land, our usual hospitality, warmth and mutual beneficial relationship is for you all to enjoy.