September 29, 2023

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OPINION: How Aregbesola Govt Created Boundary Dispute Between Ifon and Ilobu Communities By Jide Akinyooye

This exposition was necessitated by a recent comment made by one Chief Raifu Ogunsola – The Otun Jagun of Ilobu during a live broadcast programe – Oro To Nlo on Fresh FM, Osogbo which was anchored by a renowned broadcaster, Mr. Akinwumi Alabi on Friday, 8th September, 2023. During the referred programme, Mr. Ogunsola made a claim that could mislead unsuspecting members of the public. He said, “Ilobu Community is sharing boundary with Ilie Community at Adara Village.” He further stated that the Ilobu monarch (Oba Olobu of Ilobu) was the original landlord of Ifon-Orolu! He based his justification on boundary line, strictly on the State Legal Notice No. 9 of 2014 published in Osun State of Nigeria Gazette No. 1 Vol. 24 dated 13/10/2014.

The man, Chief Ogunsola has earlier lied in previous broadcast that Olufon has lost all cases on land dispute matters with Ilobu Community at the Supreme Court of Nigeria….. These are concocted lies which demand necessary clarifications as appropriate.

Let me start by emphasizing that the lawyer (Ogunsola) was only engaging in deliberate judicial somersaults born out of glaring misrepresentation of facts and nit wit assertion. The conduct of the said Ogunsola is to all intents and purposes a product of narcissistic horrific hallucinations.
Claims on the Supreme Court Judgements
The reality is that Ifon and Ilobu communities have only been in the apex court twice and Ifon-Osun community won at both instances. The first case was between SALAWU OYELADE (The Olufon of Ifon-Osun) and SANUSI ARAOYE (The Olobu of Ilobu) in 1968 when a cost assessed at 26 Guineas was awarded against Olobu of Ilobu at the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Lagos;

The second case was between MR. SALAMI ADESHINA – On behalf of Ilobu community as Appellant and OYO STATE COMMISSIONER FOR BOUNDARY SETTLEMENT COMMISSION and PRINCE YESUFU OLADIPO AKINYOOYE – on behalf of Ifon-Osun Community as respondents in Suit No:SC/45/1990. According to the judgement of the Supreme Court of which Ilobu Community was the Appellant; “The answer to the question raised under the main and only issue for determination was in the negative. The court found no merit in their appeal and dismissed it with a cost of N1,000.00 . Thence, what other case did Orolu or Olufon lose in the Supreme Court of Nigeria as he boasted?

On the issue of traditional landlord,
There is no controversy because there are overwhelming archival evidences that support the historical facts that the Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom is the traditional landlord of the entire Irepodun Local Government that consists of Okanla, Ilobu and Erin-Osun. Besides, the Intelligence Report by Assistant District Officer, I. F. W. Schorfield that was dated 28th May, 1936, justified superiority of Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom. The earlier proclamation that was made on 8th September, 1917 by Oba Shiyanbola Oladigbolu, the Alaafin of Oyo when the issue of demarcation began can never be ignored.

According to the referred proclamation; “I have received your letter No. 952/362/17 and I consider it carefully, the real owner of the land is OLUFON. He approached me to help him to make a boundary with OLOBU recently, when he was going about the boundary, I told him to tell the D. O. that OLUFON is the real owner of the land, he ought to have a bigger portion of the land than OLOBU”.

When did Olobu Start Wearing Crown?
To attest to the superiority of the Olufon, we may ask when did Olobu start wearing crowns? Besides the fact that all the 16 Olobu of Ilobu (including incumbent Oba Ashiru Olatoye Olaniyan) that have reigned in Ilobu were installed as BAALES; it is not a hidden fact that thirteen (13) of them used to be installed at Ifon and by Olufon until when Baale Sanusi Araoye was installed as the Olobu of Ilobu. Interestingly, the fact are obvious that the incumbent Olobu of Ilobu was initially installed as Baale in 1970 just like all his predecessors before his upgrading and subsequent wearing of beaded crown ceremony on the 13th December, 1986 by late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III. This still did not qualified him as Permanent Member of the Oyo State Council of Obas until later when Osun State was created.

Several archival records dated back as pre-independence era of Nigeria when Ibadan Native Administration Inner Council Members authoritatively confirmed “Olufon of Ifon-Osun as the Traditional Landlord of Olobu of Ilobu” during the reign of Oba Alayeluwa Bankeesa Atanda Akinyooye, the 30th Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom”. Therefore, how can someone then utter such a reckless statement in a mere attempt to deny Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom & incontrovertible Aremo-Obatala of the Universe that has consistently conceding part of his ancestral land to his grantees that includes Baale Gbobamu, Oba Olokanla of Okanla, Olobu of Ilobu and revered Oba Alayeluwa Elerin of Erin-Osun since 1924?

The point must be made here that Ilobu is only taking the benevolence of Ifon to mean foolishness, but we are not. Ilobu Community is devising every possible strategy to lay claim to what does not belong to it through the controversial Gazette by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration. Whereas, the issue of boundary demarcation has been resolved by Captain Ross, the Assistant District Officer when it was stated that; “Commencing from the wall on the main Oshogbo – Ogbomoso Road between Ilobu and Ifon – along this wall to its junction with Ilobu – Oba path and thence straight along the Ilobu Oba path”.

4 On the Issue of Osun State of Nigeria Gazette
The State Boundary Commission could have properly been guided and strictly conclude boundary burden between Ifon and Ilobu communities based on this but it rather complicated the matter during the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, former Executive Governor of Osun State when he made State Legal Notice No. 9 of 2014 published in Osun State of Nigeria Gazette No. 1 Vol. 24 dated 13/10/2014. It was glaring that the referred Executive Order was either politically motivated, ill-intentioned or erroneously passed because it conceded Orolu and Olufon ancestral land to Irepodun Local Government area without due consent of the traditional landlord and this later originated the main boundary crisis between Irepodun and Orolu Local Government areas! Whatever might be the case, the purported recommendations that led to the controversial Gazette by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was actually without consent of Olufon and Orolu people who are traditional landlord of both Irepodun and Orolu Local Government area.

It was based on same State Government Gazette that Ilobu Community is laying claim to Adara Village area just as similar issue resulted into controversy that led to communal clash between Ilobu and Erin in 2020. The issue of who shares boundary with Ilie was loudly emphasized in a Proclamation made on 12th February, 1955 when the Court visited Ilie and gained the following informatives:- Oba Orisadare, The Alie of Ilie in presence of his Chiefs stated on oath that “he (Ilie keeps boundary with the Olufon at Adara Stream which is about 1 mile from Ilie. He concluded by saying that Olufon lodged the Olobu at that site”.

Sometimes in 2017, the Osun State Government under leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola created Orolu-South Administrative Office with its administrative headquarters at Diisu-Ayekale, in Ifon in same area that was conceded to Ilobu. This further shows that the area being claimed by Ilobu actually belongs to Ifon, or how can LCDA belonging to Orolu be sited on Ilobu land? The creation of the additional Local Government areas was legally backed with relevant legislative provisions that passed through the Osun State House of Assembly and unlike the referred Gazette that was passed through the back door.
As at the time that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola completed; the trouble on boundary between Ilobu and Ifon became more compounded. This added to existing problem of inability to have an accurate Map of Osun State that has also remains without resolution.
The salient contradiction that remains unaddressed by the Osun State Government is the validity of an Executive Order through a Government Gazette; after same government has taken subsequent decision that was backed up statutory provision signed by same State Government after passing through the Osun State House of Assembly.

Prince Jide Akinyooye is a Chartered Accountant and Secretary of Ifon-Orolu Progressive Union (IPU) Board Of Trustees