The Irokun community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State has disagreed with the claim by the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, that it belongs to Ogun State.
Oyedele had urged the Ondo state government to caution its citizens for allegedly encroaching on Ogun territory and launching attacks on indigenes in the communities bordering the two states.
But the Irokun community, in a letter to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, signed by the secretary, Emmanuel Ogunbajo, denied the allegations, saying the Ogun state deputy governor must have been misinformed about the boundary issue.
The PUNCH reported that in a letter issued on Tuesday and titled ‘Re: Stop incessant attacks on our communities, Ogun urges Ondo State’, claimed that many available historical documents showed that Irokun is an Ilaje community in Ondo State.
The statement read in part, “While we do not intend to join issues with the Ogun State Deputy Governor on this worn-out and ineffective claim, we, however, owe it a duty to the public for the umpteenth time to set the records straight that Irokun is an ancient Ilaje Kingdom which people are Ilaje, speak undiluted Ilaje-Yoruba tongue within the territory of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State and nothing will change that reality.
“It is most sympathetic that the Ogun Deputy Governor has been ill-briefed by her officials when she falsely claimed that “Irokun, a kingdom in Ogun State has its traditional ruler, the Onirokun of Irokun, a member of our Ijebu Traditional Council. The current Onirokun, HRH, Oba Buari Olayinka Balogun, is the 8th Onirokun and has been on the throne since October 2007.
“On the contrary, the immediate past Olurokun, Oba Olowoniyi Abejoye whose daughter Adeyinka Abejoye-Ogunyemi is now the regent, was the 16th Olurokun of Irokun.”
The community noted that all the archival documents the support its claims on the location of the community were with the National Boundaries Commission.
“On the claim of Olurokun being a member of the Ijebu Traditional Council, records in both Ondo and Ogun States show that as far back as 1920, the District Officer Ijebu-Ode in his letter N0.71/1920 of 9th July 1920, to his Ondo Division counterpart had confirmed that “neither Irokun nor the village of Obi was in Ijebu country
“After the enactment of the Native Authorities Ordinance of 1924 and the groupings of traditional rulers, Olurokun of Irokun Oba Joga Adejipe in his letter through the Maporure of Ihapen Agerige dated 8th October 1937 to the District Officer on Tour Mahin traced his ancestry to Ilaje requesting that his kingdom remained part of the Mahin (Ilaje) District. This archival document is available with the National Boundary Commission, both states and our palaces.
“The National Boundary Commission, perhaps exasperated by contradictory claims held a meeting with the deputy governors and officials of both Ondo and Ogun States in Abeokuta on February 21st, 2016 wherein it was agreed, among others, “that the Commission shall carry out an elaborate ethnographic study of the boundary” to determine the dispute which was done for over two years resulting in the outright rejection of the obvious expansionist claims of Ogun State.”
The Irokun town declared that no matter the pressure from Ogun State, it would maintain the status quo that Irokun kingdom is an integral part of Ilaje and Ondo State.