“Synopsis And Biography Of Oba TT Dada’s Book Will Change The Historical Narration Of The Aworis”, Sen. Gbolahan Dada
Friends, families, royal fathers, political allies and well wishers all gathered on Tuesday at Sheba Events Centre, Ikeja, Lagos to torchlight the wonderful life of a renowned monarch, late Oba Timothy Talabi Dada, the Olota of Ota, who reigned from 1954 to 1992 during a book launch which was co-authored by a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Gbolahan Dada and a renowned Editor and Publisher, Frank Akinola.
The book, titled, ‘Ota Awori Kingdom: Synopsis and Biography of Oba TT Dada’ was described as ‘the voice and echo of my late father’ by Senator Gbolahan Dada and will help correct the flaws and anomalies inherent in the historical standing of the Aworis against their brothers from other tribes in Yoruba land, most especially, the ‘Egbas’ and ‘Owus’.
Royal host of the event, HRM Oba (Prof.) Adeyemi Abdulkabir Obalanlege, Olota of Ota, while declaring the event open, said that the late Olota, Oba TT Dada was an erudite monarch who stood above equals among Yoruba Obas.
“Today, am very sure that our ancestors will be very happy. Because for so long, we have left it too late, but finally, it has happened. Our royal father that we are celebrating today, Oba Timothy Dada was the 18th Olota of Ota, Awori kingdom. He reigned between 1954 and 1992. I thank God today that we are celebrating this Kabiyesi who made us proud.”
Olota, while lamenting the uneven traditional arrangement in Ogun state, urged the executive Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to right the wrongs which is currently going on in Awori land because his people have been subdued by oppressive administration; mostly led by the Egbas for so long in the state. “We were the first to settle in this part of Nigeria before our brothers came. For instance, the first Olota of Ota was crowned in 1621 while the stool of Alake is yet to clock 200 years. The only thing i want to implore our Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun is to please, right the wrongs that has been going on in Awori land who are domiciled in Ogun State.”
See video here..
He added that he will use every diplomatic and legal means to ensure that the Aworis are placed where they rightly belong because the people of Ota and their monarch are not under the Alake. “For me, i will use every diplomatic and peaceful way to ensure that we are placed where we belong. We are not slaves, we are Princes and Princesses of Ile-Ife. Again, with all sense of responsibilities, the Olota of Ota is not under Alake of Egba land.”
A former Senator, who represented Ogun Central Senatorial District, Prince Lanre Tejuoso, lamented that his father, HRM Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, the Osile of Oke-Ona has at one time, championed the course which the Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi is currently fighting in that the Oke-Onas are superior to the Egba Akes’ in the Ake traditional set-up and that paramount ruler-ship should be rotated among them; but he was a loner in the fight and unfortunately for him, those in the helms of affairs as at then could not hearken to the plight of his father who obviously is now old and tired and does not have the strength to further chart his course. Senator Tejuoso assured the Olota and Senator Gbolahan Dada of his commitment to rekindle the yearnings of his father as he now has a co-traveler in his quest in demanding what is right in the traditional scheme of things in the state.
While reviewing the book on behalf of University of Lagos Don, Professor Tunde Babawale, Dr. John Adenle said the book was well written and it reflects the true identity of the Aworis. He added that the book, explained the historical migration of one of the Princes of Ile-Ife, Olofin Ogunfunminire and his co-travelers who left Ife in the 14th century in a bid to resettle as counselled by Ifa Oracle, but were later referred to ‘Awori’, a name which they derived from the response given in feedback of the plate’s whereabout after it finally sank, ‘Awo ti ri’, literally, ‘Plate has sank’.
He further said that the book explained the tenacity and hospitality of the Aworis, adding that they are a very peace loving and industrious people who accommodated everyone during inter-ethnical clashes and wars, regardless of their tribe or ethnic diversity. “Aworis are divided into four, viz: the coastal Aworis, which could be found in Agege, Ibese, Igolu and the rest, Western Awori that are domiciled in Ijanikin, Oto-Awori, Badagry, Ojo and so on, Eastern Aworis, predominantly in Ogun state and are located in Ota, Isheri, Ado-Odo, Igbesa, Tigbo, Ijoko, Ilogbo and so on, and lastly, Western Aworis, which can be traced to Ilaro, Imeko, other parts of Yewa, extended to the boarder towns of Ogun and Benin republic.” He said.
The Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District in the 9th assembly, Senator Tolu Odebiyi remarked that one of the problems that Nigeria is faced with is that historical facts have not been documented in the past. He said he wished that his late father had documented some facts which could be used to write books, just like Sen. Gbolahan Dada’s dad has done.
See video here..
He further added that history as a subject is better taught at schools so as to adequately inform the younger generations.
In an interview with VOA News correspondent, former Senator representing zone 1 Kaduna state in the Senate, Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi said that history was made in the documentation and presentation of the book. “The book has attempted to catch history. History is being made in the presentation of the book because the oral presentation by the monarch and the book reviewer has deposited some facts and the facts will go along in kick-starting one of the most cogent resourceful information circulation in the history of the Yorubas and particularly, that of Ota town.”
He emphasized the need for history to be taught in schools, in that; a future without a past is not complete. He added that a ‘past’ is the most important part of human life.
See video here..
Speaking on behalf of the Executive Governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Deputy Governor, Engr. Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele appreciated the Senator for putting together what she termed as a ‘great’ book which will help in the historical documentation of the Aworis, and by extension, the Yoruba people at large.
While briefing newsmen shortly after the presentation, the co-author of the book and former Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial district, Sen. Gbolahan Dada said the book is a store of knowledge. He added that the book will make younger ones to have a sense of documenting knowledge.
On what inspired him to writing the book, he said that the challenges the Aworis face are so many and that other tribes are using exploitative means to take what seek advantage of them.
“The book has opened up intellectual discussion on how we can coexist without conflict. The Egbas will know through this book that some histories they wrote are not correct. They will know that the Ota of 1940’s is not the Ota of today. Egbas and Owus will now be careful because the book contains facts and figures which referenced during legal tussles.”
See video interview here..
In his own opinion, the Ekerin of Ota, High Chief B.A Osunlabu, while speaking with VOA News correspondent, said that the book, either it will be read by the Egbas and Owus or not, has corrected some historical fallacies. He added that though, there have been books written on Ota, but this particular one that is just launched is more informative.
See video here..
He further lauded Sen. Gbolahan Dada for putting together the book, adding that he has succeeded in doing what Napoleon could not do.
The event attracted the creme-de-la-creme in the political, traditional and academic settings. Some of whom were; Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Engr. Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Sen. Tolu Odebiyi, former Sen. Akin Odunsi, former Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Sen. Lanre Tejuoso, former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Hon. Akinloye Babajide, Olota of Ota, HRM Oba (Prof.) Abdulkabir Adeyemi Obalanlege, Barrister Kayode Sofola (SAN), among several others.