controversy has trailed the installation of a nonagenarian and veteran politician, Pa Olufemi Adisa Sodeinde as the first monarch in Iju-Ota, Ado Odo/Ota Local Governmemt Area of Ogun State.
Sodeinde is said to be the great grandson of Gbalefa, the legendary Owu warlord, who was said to have led the Egba allied force to expel the Dahomean war mongers from the Egba nation in the early centuries.
However, the installation came amid protest by Awori, the major inhabitants of Ota Iju who described the installation as a slap on their faces.
According to them, Ota Iju is predominantly an Awori town, while the newly installed Oba is of Owu-Egba extraction, even though he has been living in the town.
But the state government said it based the installation on certified tue copies of an archival documents which stated that Akindele Gbalefa, Lapeleke and Awaye Sonlu were frontline leaders of the town.
The document claimed that the aforementioned settlers were of Owu extraction and militias that checkmated the Dahomean Amazons and other interlopers terrorising the Egba nation.
Reacting to the claims, Akogun Ota, Chief Wadudu Dehinde said there was nothing like Igbalefa in Iju Ota, adding that the installation was an affront.
“We are surprised that an Egba man will be installed a monarch in Awori territory. No Awori man can become an Oba in an Egba territory.
“The man that was installed an Oba was never a chief, not to talk of being a Baale. His father, who was a goldsmith and came to sojourn in Iju Ota was also never a Baale before he died.
“How come his son will wake up one day and become a monarch? This is unacceptable to us and the Awori nation will decide the next line of action,” he said.
According to him, the issue of Igbalefa in the council area had been settled through a letter issued by the office of the state Attorney General in 2001 as well as court judgment in 2015.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jide Ojuko while presenting Oba Sodeinde the staff of office and a copy of the state government gazette charged him to be fair to all.
Ojuko said the choice of Sodeinde as the first Oba in the town was not by accident and charged him to continue to be an ambassador of peace and a symbol of unity and solidarity.
He also enjoined the new Oba to mobilise all his subjects for the execution of worthwhile self-help projects in his domain in a bid to complement government’s efforts towards the socio-economic development of the town.
The commissioner implored the kabiyesi to utilise his exemplary leadership qualities and political sagacities to bring development to the town as well as embark on meaningful projects that will impact positively on the people.
Amid funfair, the ceremony was graced by all Obas in Owu-Egba led by Olowu Kangunere, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, Otun Owu, Chief Doja Adewolu, Balogun Owu, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and representative of the Alake Egba, Oba Aremu Gbadebo among others.