Trouble looms between Alake, Olota subjects over disputed land
There is apprehension over seeming tension between subjects of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and the Olota of Ota, Oba Abudulkabir Obalanlege over disputed land in Iju-Atan, Ado-Odo Ota local government area of Ogun State.
The disputed land, occupied by six communities, is referred to as Gbalefaland. The communities are Ajegunle, Onigbongbo, Ketu Oluyomi, Atan, Kooko and Iju. They are insisting that by a court judgment, the Alake has Prescribed Authority over the communities but the Ota people sharply disagree, saying they are under the Prescribed Authority of the Olota of Ota.
The communities have therefore made a passionate appeal to the state government, State House of Assembly and the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, to intervene immediately to avoid chaos. The Oba-elect, Alatan of Atan, Gbalefaland, Olatunji Abiodun Oluyomi, who spoke to journalists yesterday on the issue, insisted that Gbalefa is a separate entity belonging to the people of Egba under the control of the Alake of Egbaland.
Oluyomi, who spoke on behalf of the six villages, disclosed that Gbalefa peninsula was acquired by the Egba people through conquest between 1836 and 1843 from the people of Ilobi and Ado-Odo and that the power of the Alake’s Prescribed Authority was confirmed by the state government, historical documents, and judgments of the courts.
In his reaction, Obalanlege insisted that there is nothing like Gbalefaland, saying “Gbalefaland is a fraud. But I must add that my subjects will not quarrel over any land that does not belong to them.
Meanwhile, a communal crisis is looming in Abese community, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, as the two factional community leaders laying claim to the throne are threatening a showdown this Saturday, December 28.
Unless the state government quickly intervenes, this might lead to communal clashes that may snowball into loss of lives and property, as both camps are threatening fire and brimstone, The Guardian has learned.
It was gathered that the thrust of the crisis is the planned Abese Day celebration and installation of new chiefs on the said date by a factional Baale, Chief Adegoke Aikulola. Investigations showed that the government-recognized Baale, Chief Musiliu Awofe Omolabi Adebolajo, was issued letter of approval on December 22, 2016, by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, backed up with a certificate signed by the Olowu of Owu, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, dated January 4, 2017, after which the local government sent a letter of approval.
When The Guardian contacted Aikulola on phone Saturday evening, he neither accepted the allegations nor denied it. He said: “My brother, you called me at the wrong time, call me tomorrow (Sunday) morning.” But all efforts to reach him yesterday were unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.