Awori Welfare Association of Nigeria (AWAN), Lagos, has threatened legal action against a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Tajudeen Olusi, who was quoted to have said members of the association are not indigenes of the state.
AWAN National President, Solomon Ojolowo, said thisduring a press conference in Lagos, yesterday.
Ojolowo said Awori are the authentic aborigines in Lagos, constituting 75 percent of the entire state and urged Olusi to retract his statement.
“It is reprehensible for someone to claim Awori are not Lagos indigenes. This press conference became very im- portant and urgent as a necessary reaction to the unexpected outburst from a Lagos political leader, Olusi, the leader of APC Elders Forum, who declared not only that Awori is not in Lagos but also that Awori is not a tribe in Yorubaland.
“An obvious false declaration like this perhaps does not require a response because almost everyone in Yoruba land, even non-Yoruba, definitely, know not only that Awori is in Yorubaland but also, that Awori are the aborigines of Lagos.
“But, if no rebuttal is made, a wrong impression would have been unwittingly created. We have no quarrel with Olusi being a Bini man, especially as a prince of the late Oba of Lagos.
“Bini are strangers in Lagos, not original settlers. We recall this interview granted by another respected lawyer, Femi Okunnu who declared that Aworis were the first group of settlers who inhabited Lagos city and its suburbs.
“As a matter of necessity, Olusi is advised to either declare that there is no tribe like Bini, Oyo, Ibadan, Ogbomoso 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 retract and rephrase his false statements through the same media or else the entire Awori people will join issues with him in court in order to set the records straight.
“It is quite reckless a statement for someone to claim Isolo, one of the prominent Awori communities, is not an Awori town.
“Generally speaking, the Awori of Lagos State constitute the largest single sub group.
“Out of the 20 local governments, the Awori conveniently form the indigenous population of 17 local governments,” Ojolowo said.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, who was represented at the press conference by Adewale Williams, agreed with AWAN’s statement, saying the Awori who migrated from Ife were the first settlers in Lagos.
“It is a well known fact that the Awori are descendants of Oduduwa and later migrated to Lagos to become the very first settlers. That is the reason they are the land owners.
“Awori are very industrious and accommodating people and that is why Lagos is the most developed state in the country.