Ariyomo Congratulates Newly elevated Ondo Monarchs, lauds Akeredolu for “Correcting Historical Errors”

Former National President of the Nigerian KungFu Federation and a member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Power, Engr. Tunji Light Ariyomo, FNSE has commended the Governor of Ondo State Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN and members of the Ondo State Executive Council for the elevation of the Olowa of Igbara-oke, the Alara of Ilaramokin, the Oloba of Oba-Ile, the Ogbolu of Ita-Ogbolu, the Okiti of Iju and several others across the state to the rank of Grade A Oba.

Ariyomo also applauded the Governor for the formal recognition of about 60 additional ancient kingdoms by the Akeredolu-led administration.

In a statement released from his base in Abuja, Ariyomo stated that “this decision of the Ondo State Executive Council led by Arakunrin Akeredolu has corrected major historical errors that had undermined peace and togetherness in many parts of the state”.

“In this matter, Akeredolu and his team have proven that they have the courage to take tough decisions that are founded on truth”.

Ariyomo who is reputed for his grasp of history opined that “ordinarily there should not be any crisis relating to Obaship in any parts of Ondo State. The Yoruba culture settled that a long time ago, especially the tolerant and accommodating culture of the hinterland or so-called ‘ilu oke’ of Yorubaland where our forefathers were not given to rampant adventurism but rather lived peacefully with their neighbours. However, egregious ignorance of our culture and tradition and wilful quest to dominate others led to unnecessary bickering and the disturbance of the peace. This has undermined opportunities for cooperation among royal fathers and has cascaded down to affect the thematic disposition of our people to one another. Where we should naturally find cooperation, we now easily experience mutual suspicion”.

Delving into history, Ariyomo noted that “It is worthy of note that only two adventurous political entities ever made inroads into the Yoruba hinterland, namely, the Bini Empire which forces were led by General Okpele and the Oyo Empire under the Ibadan warlords led at one time by Aare Latosa. These two big expansionist forces sought to convert our forefathers to their vassals. Both forces were however fiercely confronted by our forefathers, courageously challenged on the battlefield and roundly defeated. The Binis were defeated at Ofosu and Emiloro in 1818 by the combined forces of Ilara, Isinkan, Oda, Isolo and Ikere after the unprovoked attack on Ulafon and Arakale, the then Oba of Akure, and not a single one of the Edo generals returned to Benin. The Oyo/Ibadan hegemony was defeated at Igbajo by the confederacy of the Ekitiparapos that included the Ijeshas in 1893 and the Allafin was forced to invite the British to help him settle the war with the Ekitis”.

“Otherwise, Obas in Ekiti, Akoko, Ondo, Owo, Akure axes of the Yoruba experienced largely peaceful relationships with their neighbours. Boundaries were respected”.

Engr. Ariyomo who once served as the pioneer Coordinator of the Ondo State Information Technology Development Agency (SITDA) further highlighted that land, “which ought to continue to be the cause of strifes among Obas has been resolved by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in favour of the governor. The Land Use Act unambiguously vests full authority over land in the state governor”.

Advising on the need to emulate Abeokuta, the Abuja-based infrastructure expert stated that “today, the most advanced town in Yorubaland is Abeokuta. Abeokuta alone has produced more Nigerian leaders than any other single Yoruba town. Incidentally, it is also in Abeoukuta that we find the greatest example of royal tolerance and cooperation in the entire Yorubaland with five (5) first-class Obas. Yet, you don’t read that they fight each other every day as has now become the modern imported trends in the Ondo and Ekiti axes”.

“The very concept of Obaship in Yorubaland is organically tied to the spiritual life of the people. The Yoruba traditional religion recognizes Obas as ‘Igbakeji orisha’, literally – second only to God. A situation where an Oba desires to relate with other Obas as infra dig is anathema to the culture and tradition of the Yoruba”.

He hailed the governor that “by correcting what has become an entrenched blunder, the Akeredolu administration has removed a major cause of unnecessary acrimony and contention. I commend Akeredolu and the members of his cabinet who made this possible. I implore them to look closely at all such similar cases that are still hanging and resolve them in like manners”.

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