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Ondo State Map Reopens New Controversy On Akure-Idanre 1952 War On Boundaries By Dr. Wumi Akintide

December 19, 2016

If Akure accepts that map, Akure is indirectly ceding its land to Idanre, meaning that Idanre would own Igbo Ofosu, Ala Ajagbusi and Ugbo Board near Oda.

Akure must wake up from its slumber as the Ondo State government quietly redefines Akure’s boundaries with Idanre using the Local Government Areas map in Ondo State shown below as its justification.

Akure rose up in arms and the new Deji of Akure quickly and very wisely reasserted his authority by abolishing the title of "Eze Ndigbo" of Akure as a taboo in his kingdom. 

It was a wise move that was welcomed by the rank and file of our people at home and in the diaspora. Something more egregious and devastating has happened to Akure with the Ondo State government’s acceptance of the attached map of Ondo State 18 Local Governments as the official map of Ondo State. 

If you take a close look at the two maps shown here, you will see very clearly that the newly created Idanre Local Government on that map is now one of the biggest Local Governments in Ondo State after Ekiti State was carved out from Ondo State.

This begs the question: how did Idanre grow to the size it is today?

It is true that the Land Use Decree that Obasanjo tried to impose on the South has not had any traction, not even in his own Owu base in Abeokuta, talk less of elsewhere in Yorubaland. The traditional and historical boundaries between towns, villages and hamlets in Yorubaland have remained sacrosanct and legal from the dawn of our history, but what the Ondo State government has done to Akure with that map is to annex Akure Lands comprising Igbo Ofosu Forest Reserve, Ala Ajagbusi, and Ugbo Board near Oda to Idanre by force. Those lands have always belonged to Akure and, for your information, Akure has fought with Idanre since the first time Idanre ever made an attempt to trespass and encroach on its land. As a matter of fact, Akure actually fought those battles up to the West African Court of Appeal and Akure won all of the litigations. When Idanre would not stop encroaching those lands, Akure and Idanre fought a war in 1952 that Akure clearly won during the reign of Deji Afunbiowo Adesida the First, who reigned from 1897 to 1957.

The implication of the Ondo State map is huge for those who understand that a map is not just drawn for fun. Maps have implications, ramifications and consequences that only uneducated people can ignore much to their own peril.

If Akure accepts that map, Akure is indirectly ceding its land to Idanre, meaning that Idanre would own Igbo Ofosu, Ala Ajagbusi and Ugbo Board near Oda. It would also mean that Idanre owns Aponmu and that the boundary between the Osemawe and the Deji is no longer Owena River on Ondo Road. Furthermore, it would mean that the Idanre boundary with Akure is no longer Omi Titun before Alade but far beyond Ita Olorun and extending to Oke Aro quarters in Akure.

What is happening with that map is a recipe for disaster for Akure and the Deji. The Akure Council of Chiefs must understand that they are playing with fire by remaining silent and throwing up their hands in total surrender. Generations of Akure people yet unborn will never forgive them if they continue to ignore this pressing issue.

I cannot help but recall how Olisa Elijah Folorunsho David fought tooth and nail to stop this kind of trespassing of Akure Land by Idanre during his time as the Olisa of Akure and the Second-in-Command to the Deji of Akure. But then came the deposed Deji Osupa the Second, who called himself Osupa the Third because he was an ignorant man who did not know that only one Osupa has ever reigned in Akure before him and the Kingmakers in their collective ignorance allowed him to get away with such a misinterpretation or misreading of history. 

Deji Osupa was deposed and sent into exile in 2010 for beating up his wife in the market place. The man did Akure a huge disservice by putting Olisa Otutuleyowo the Second Elijah Folorunsho David on indefinite suspension which was never lifted before he himself ran foul of the law and was deposed and sent into exile while a new Deji Oba Afunbiowo the Second was installed to replace him.

What the Ondo State government has done in redefining Ondo State boundaries for Akure and annexing Akure Land for Idanre would never have been allowed to happen under Olisa Folorunsho David, who was the traditional Prime Minister of Akure during the six-year interregnum between 1991 and 2005 when Princess Adeyinka Adesida was the Regent of Akure and before Deji Osupa was finally installed as the first "non Omo Ori Ote Deji" in all of Akure history. 

The man knew nothing about Akure history. He just came from London, lured the king makers with money and got picked as the Deji in 2005. The man ruled like a despot for 5 years before nemesis caught up with him.

I am writing this article to let Akure and the Ondo State government – but more so the new Governor Rotimi Akeredolu – to understand what is at stake and to serve him notice that the current Ondo State map, as it relates to Akure Land, cannot stand because it is a travesty of justice. Idanre cannot annex Akure Land without Akure lifting a finger and with the collusion of a government based in Akure, the Ondo State capital. That is not going to happen. I make this statement to call on all Akure sons and daughters at home and abroad to brace up for a fight on this development in the interest of generations of Akure children yet unborn.

I seize this opportunity to call on the Deji and his Council of Chiefs to wake up from their slumber and to appreciate that they are sitting on a time bomb by keeping quiet or throwing up their hands in total surrender. I am also using it as a clarion call on the Chairman of Akure Local Government, Mr. Aarapon, and the current Executive Secretary of Akure South Local Government, Mr. Olayeye Akintide Gbangba, and Senator Alasoaduram, who represents Akure in the nation's Senate and all Akure's Representatives in the Ondo State House of Assembly, to take this as a challenge. They were all elected to champion Akure’s interests and to make sure that this kind of subterfuge is not allowed to grow and fester. 

I call on the Akure Inner Circle, Akure Development Forum and Akure National Union at home and in the diaspora to wake up from their slumber and not allow this kind of injustice to go unchallenged in a country supposedly governed by the rule of law.

The new Oonirisa of Ife, Ojaja the Second, is setting a new template in Obaship leadership that we all can learn something from. The Aderawo Forest Reserve owned by Ile Ife spreads to the boundaries of Ogun State in some areas. If the Land Use Decree has not dispossessed Ile Ife of its land, why should Akure be the first scapegoat and causality of the moribund Land Use Decree in the South?

I cannot think of any community in Nigeria that is ready to give up its land simply because of a law that cannot be enforced because it was imposed without the consent of the people.