Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, has put a lie to a statement credited to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ota people in Ogun State and their monarch are under his (Alake’s) authority.
There has been dispute between Olota and Alake over who reigns over the Awori. Olota-in-Council recently addressed a press conference during which it alleged among other things, through their spokesperson, Chief Olanrewaju Bashorun, that the Alake had illegally installed kings and chiefs in towns where the Olota of Ota reigns.
Obalanlege told Alake: “Though, I am presently on an official assignment in Switzerland, I need to remind Alake of Egbaland that in Ogun State, the settlement of Awori people preceded the establishment of Abeokuta as an Egba Kingdom in 1830.
“Ota, the foremost Awori town within the present Ogun State and which is the industrial nerve centre, for instance has been existing since the 15th century. The first Olota, Oba Ikoriku Toribo, was crowned in 1621, while the first Alake, in Abeokuta, Sagbua Okukenu, was crowned on August 8, 1854.
“It goes without saying that putting an Olota under an Alake is both a traditional misnomer and historic fallacy. The Ife palace, where the crowns came from knows better. Never in history has Ota been captured by the Egba, rather we rescued them from Oyo invasion”
Oba Gbadebo had declared that the areas geographically and historically known as Gbalefa Peninsula; comprising Atan, Iju, Adekoyeni and surrounding communities as well as Sango, Ijoko and Itori fall within his domain. He said on the strength of that, he would continue to install Obas, Baales and community leaders in those areas as they are within his jurisdiction and not that of Olota. He added that Oba Obalanlege and residents of Ota are under his (Alake) prescribed authority.
However, Olota-in-Council vowed to resist any attempt by Oba Gbadebo to install monarchs and village heads in some Awori towns. Its spokesperson who is also the Seriki of Ota, Chief Olanrewaju Bashorun, advised Alake to shelve his plans or face stiff resistance from the Awori people. He said it was historical fact that “the Olota is the only prescribed traditional authority over all land, towns and villages with the suffix ‘Ota.’ Activities of Alake were tantamount to tampering with the consenting power of Olota.”
He pointed out that Aworiland had endured enough marginalization: “Awori people will not allow any further subjugation.”