Lokoja, Ajaokuta belong to Yorubaland, says Yoruba World Congrss, (YWC) as Akintoye rejects Court ruling
Abib Olanrewaju, Lokoja
A Professor of History and President, Yoruba World Congress, (YWC) has said the Lokoja and Ajaokuta remain Yoruba ancestral territories irrespective of a High Court Judgment that handed over the two cities to the Attah of Igala
In a statement on Thursday, Akintoye said the purported Court Judgment declaring Lokoja and Ajaokuta as part of the Igala Kingdom was an historical error.
He said “The Yoruba World Congress, the umbrella body of Yoruba Groups rejects the judgement in its entity.
The YWC said “While we have great admiration for the Igala Kingdom, and HRM, the Attah Igala and that institution, we declare the claims in the judgement as a distortion of very clear history, especially as regards to Lokoja, which is a great ancestral domain of the Oworo People of Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State.”
He said the people of Oworro and all historical facts of have already made that very clear.
Akintoye said wondered that until the creation of Kogi State when the Igala trooped to Kogi enmasse from Benue State how many Igala lived in Lokoja or Ajaokuta for the previous 100 years? What Igala cultural artefacts did Oworo and Ajaokuta People find? From which Igala ancestors did they beg for land before they dwelt there? When does coming to trade at an existing market confer ownership of the market to the trader? The Igala as a People made their marks in history during the Kwararafa era, and also their impact in some part of Eastern Nigeria but the Igala affiliation with the western side of the Niger River did not happen until modern times.
“The recent “Judgment” appropriating Lokoja and Ajaokuta to that Kingdom is a strange fire on the altar and therefore unacceptable to the Yoruba Nation of which the Oworo People are an integral part.
For far too long, we, the Yoruba in the South West have neglected our brothers and sisters, the Okun in Kogi State and the Ilorin, Igbomina, Ibolo and the Jebba axis of Kwara State who were excised to the North through conspiracy between the British colonial power and the Fulani Emirates of the North. That has happened partly because of the distortion caused by the said British, in collaboration with the Fulani Jihadists invaders.”
Akintoye said “In light of this jugdement, it is incumbent on YWC to officially bring in the Yoruba Traditional Leaders led by His Imperial Majesty, The Ooni of Ife and His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, The Alafin of Oyo. We will not stop at that, we shall also deploy the best legal luminaries of the Yoruba extraction to the struggle to rescue our people from this expansionist ploy.”
The YWC said further “Now is the right time to signal the determination of the Yoruba to begin a process of writing the true history of the Nigerian Ethnic Nationalities, as opposed the pseudo-colonislist and jihadist interpretation as handed over to us by the British, who were driven by commercial/economic goals. In order to protect their economic interests, the British imposed a hegemonist arrangement called the Almalgamation Treaty of 1914.”
According to him, it is instructive to note that the 1914 treaty was due for renewal in 2014 adding that the Yoruba Nation stand firm in the conviction that the Amalgamation Treaty is in need of renegotiation so that all parts of Nigeria shall voluntarily agree on Restructuring Nigeria into a truly federal or confederal arrangement.”
He said “We also stand firm on the belief that the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria reserve the right to self determination to agree to arrangements that suit their national aspirations. The judgement of the High Court that Lokoja and Ajaokuta in Kogi State are part of the Igala Kingdom against all genuine historical facts, highlights the urgent need for discussions by all parts of Nigeria to agree on where they want to be instead of what is imposed on them.”
He sais “This statement serves notice that the Yoruba Nation will strenuously stand to defend her People who dwell on YORUBA LAND from Oworo in Kogi State eastwards to Jebba and Baruba all the way to the Benin Republic border and southwest to the Atlantic Ocean. We urge all the Oworo People to stay calm but to resolutely defend their God given land against this attempted piracy”