By Paul Ukpbio
Traditional rulers in Awori land in Ado-Odo/Ota and parts of Ifo local government areas, Ogun State have announced the formation of a new forum tagged Awori Obas Forum.
The royal fathers, numbering about 30, selected the Olota of Ota, Oba AbdulKabir Obalanlege, as the chairman of the forum, with the Olofin of Ado and Olofin Isheri as co-chairmen.
Rising from a meeting held at the palace of the Olota, the monarchs said they were fed up with the present arrangement in the state traditional council where they were made appendages of either Egba or Yewa traditional council in the state.
The Olota, who spoke with newsmen on behalf of others, complained that Awori Obas were made to serve under one of three authorities, which he described as misnomer.
He added that Awori Obas were made to take their authorities from Egba, Yewa or Ifo Local Government.
The monarch, who expressed displeasure over the arrangement, said the Awori has lost its identity to either Egba or Yewa, adding that he saw no justification for that.
He therefore called on the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, to allow a change in the present arrangement by allowing the Awori Obas in the state have their independent traditional council.
The monarch, who derived his authority from the Egba Traditional Council before the recent development, said they had not created a new council and were not fighting any traditional council.
He begged the governor to take them seriously in their demands, saying if other zones in the state could have their traditional councils, Awori Obas deserved to be independent.
He said: “Our mission is very clear. Some of us are with Egba Traditional Council, some are with Yewa Traditional Council. This is a misnomer. As brothers, we are supposed to be together. This is our number one cause.
“I believe our identity must remain one, and that is Awori. I see no justification in the separation of Aworis, and I am using this opportunity to call on the executive governor of Ogun State, who himself is a prince, and I believe he knows the consequence of what is happening to Aworis.
“The Ijebus are together, the Egbas are together, the Yewas are together so what is happening to the Aworis? I think government should do something about it.”
“I want to appeal to the Ogun State Government to please take us seriously and please always consider us when decisions are being made, especially concerning traditional institutions.
“We are part and parcel of Ogun State. We are more than 30. Again, this is not a council. This is Awori Obas forum in Ogun State, and we are not creating it to attack any traditional council. We have created it as brothers and ask for what rightfully belongs to us.”
Corroborating the Chairman of the forum, the two co-chairmen, the Olofin of Ado, Oba Abdul Lateef Akanni and the Alagbado, Oba Adedayo Shylon, who represented the Olofin-Isheri, begged the governor to facilitate their formal exit from Egba and Yewa traditional council.
According to Alagbado, the forum is about the unification of Awori people and Awori Obas, and it is overdue.
He added: “This is not political, not coordinated against the sitting governor. We shall continue to give all necessary support to them. But they should hear our cries, listen to us and grant all our demands that will soon be put to them.”