- Ibile-Eko forum has lambasted an APC chieftain, Prince Olusi, over his comment on Lagos state
- Prince Olusi was quoted to have said that Lagos does not belong to the Aworis
- The secretary of Ibile-Eko forum described Olusi's statement as misleading and distortion of history
The controversies surrounding the ownership of Lagos state seems not to be over yet, as the Aworis under the aegis of the Ibile-Eko forum have come out strongly to dismiss the insinuations that Lagos is a no man's land.
Legit.ng's regional reporter, Eniola Opeyemi, reports that in a statement signed by its secretary, Felix Odusanya, the indigenous group said the Aworis of Lagos state constitute the largest single ethnic sub-group in the state, constituting about 75 percent of the population.
He said the Aworis are found in all the local government areas of the state, adding that out of the old 20 local governments in state, the Aworis conveniently form the indigenous population of 17 local government.
Odusanya named the local government to include: Lagos Island, Ojo, Badagry, Amuwo-Odofin, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Apapa, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin, Agege, Ikeja, Alimosho, Kosofe, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Surulere, Shomolu and Ifako-Ijaye.
He added that the Aworis have a recognisable percentage of indigenous population in Ibeju-Lekki local government, saying that they are predominant people around Majidun and Ajegunle areas of modern Ikorodu local government.
The group further warned individuals and groups to desist on the deliberate acts of misleading the general populace and distortion of history.
It would be recalled that a prominent Lagos prince and the chairman of the elders’ forum of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi, said in an interview in the nation newspaper publication that there was no such thing as Awori people in the state while insisting that the place called Lagos today was a part of the old Bini Kingdom, contrary to claims in some quarters.
Odunsanya, however, said that Prince Olusi goofed by saying there was not tribe called Awori at all in Lagos state.
He said: "It is a reckless statement for someone to claim Isolo, one of the prominent Awori community is not an Awori town or that the people of Isolo are not Awori; Isolo a major Awori town which was founded by a group of Awori people led by one Akibayi, and other towns and villages that forms the major part of Ikeja division of Lagos state are mainly Awori establishment.
"Of what importance is the attempt by Prince Olusi to twist the history of Akesan when he claimed the late King of Akesan land, HRM Oba Fagbohun, said there is Akesan in Oyo and with that, Olusi concluded Akesan is not Awori.
"Note the king never said Akesan is not Awori, rather, he said there is another Akesan in Oyo. Here someone needs lecture about Olofin Ogunfunminire, the progenitor of the Awori and his wives."
Odusanya also noted that the response by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Okunnu, has laid to rest the claim of the APC chieftain.
Okunnu had said: "There is no place called ‘No Man’s Land’ in the world. Every parcel of land has its own history. Lagos has its own history and the original inhabitants of Lagos – the Aworis – settled over 500 years ago.
"I have said it many times recently that Lagos has its own indigenes. The Aworis were the first group of settlers who inhabited Lagos city and suburbs. Maybe some centuries after, there was the invasion by the Binis, the Edo-speaking people, who invaded Lagos and set up their own institutions."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that before Lagos state was created in 1967, its territory was on the island of Eko (which was called a military camp). The first people who inhabited Eko were Aworis. They were hunters and fishermen and constantly migrated from Ile-Ife to the coast of Ebut-Metta.
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