Lawyer tackles Ogun monarch over Araromi community’s claim

AdewoleAugust 18, 2022

A Lagos-based lawyer, Ige Asemudara, has urged Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to ignore a claim by a traditional ruler, Oba Buari Ola Balogun, that Araromi Seaside is part of Ogun Waterside Local Council in Ogun State.

The monarch had made the claim on August 15, while reacting to a recent statement by the Ondo State government that the Araromi Seaside is part of Igbokoda in the Ilaje Local Government Area of the state and was set to be declared a tourism zone by Governor Akeredolu.

But, in a letter to the Ondo governor, Asemudara said the entire Araromi community, including its seaside, was “squarely within the Aheri Ward of Ilaje LGA.”

The lawyer, writing as solicitor to the royal dynasty of the Maporure of Aheri-land in Ilaje LGA, described as false on August 16, Balogun’s claim that Araromi seaside is in the Ogun Waterside LGA in Ogun State.

He wrote, “For the avoidance of doubt, Aheri land which is coterminous with the Ward is the most westerly of the four Ilaje Kingdoms with its littoral boundary extending to Olosunmeta on the Lekki Peninsula corridor as long determined even before Nigeria became a British Protectorate and later a colony in 1900.

“It is the fact of its territorial contiguity with Lagos that the British Government, by an Act of the Nigerian Legislative Council, on the 29th day of November 1895, extended the laws of the Colony of Lagos to Ilaje land and by which it was declared part of the Colony.

“Attempts later to alter this well-defined boundary and territory for political exigencies have been the source of unending crises between Ondo/Abeokuta Provinces which birthed the present Ondo and Ogun States, particularly when Ijebu was crafted from Abeokuta in 1915 with a rejected policy to create a coastal territory for Ijebu on part of the western fringe of Ilaje soil.

“Your Excellency, the same attempt was rejected in the hinterland of the territory forcing the contrived Ijebu Waterside to be changed to Ogun Waterside in the false hopes of appropriating the Ilaje/Ikale territories along the Itebu Elero/ Ayila corridor.

“In recent times, the National Boundary Commission, in agreement with all stakeholders, had to resort to ethnographic analysis to resolve the unwarranted crises.

“In the final analysis, we state without equivocation that both Araromi and Irokun are one hundred per cent Ilaje communities and within the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. No state or ethnic group is in dispute with us over them.”

Asemudara further claimed that Balogun also incorrectly described himself as the ‘Onirokun of Irokun’ Kingdom in Ogun State in his August 15 statement, saying “Even on traditional and historical grounds, it is necessary to educate Mr. Buari Balogun that the correct title of the Oba of Irokun is Olurokun and not Onirokun and that Ogbelege whose name Buari proudly but falsely sought to adopt, was a descendant of Oba Adanigbo a past Maporure of Aheri-land. There is no Ruling House or family of Ijebu origin in Irokun.”

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