HRM Oba Ajibade Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota has declared that the change of Imota, Igbogbo and Ijede Constituency to Ikorodu Constituency II is a design by Ikorodu elite to side-line and make them subordinate against the principles which created Ikorodu Division.
Oba Ranodu told The Impact in an exclusive interview at his palace in Ijede recently, while reacting to various questions.
“The name Ikorodu Constituency II is never what was designed for the three major towns that made up what is today known and called Ikorodu Constituency II, rather, it is the handwork of the Ikorodu elite to sideline others. Otherwise, it used to be Igbogbo, Imota and Ijede constituency and not Ikorodu II. That has been a means through which we have been sidelined by Ikorodu and in the process, they have also sidelined themselves”, Oba Ranodu stated.
Oba Ranodu who is a Chartered Accountant regretted that the process he perceived has unjustified against his kingdom and other component parts of Ikorodu Constituency II, is why the division is backward when compared with other divisions in the state. “It is the bane of Ikorodu division’s backwardness because then patronage used to come in two folds to Ikorodu Constituency I and on the other hand, to Imota, Igbogbo and Ijede Constituency from the state unlike now.”
The First Class ruler further registered his dismay at what he termed breach of the principles upon which the division was created, “We started Ikorodu as equal partners in 1967/68 when Ikorodu Division was carved out from Ikeja and Epe, Ikorodu township was not like this. What we know as Ikorodu then was between Oke Ota –Ona, Ojubode and Ikorodu garage. All these other developments were aftermath of the creation of Ikorodu division, invariably, it is our common wealth as a division they have been using for Ikorodu township’s development and also using it against us the co-patners. They should be aware of the day of reckoning which is even here. Today, not a single person from Ikorodu is in the cabinet as a Commissioner, except those appointed outside Ikorodu arrangement. Is that not a food for thought? In those good old days, it used to be minimum of two. “Eni to ban se ka, nigba to ba ya aseka ara re” (there is always negative reward from bad deeds). Ikorodu is covering our own identity because if we are allowed to develop naturally, people we realize our strength.”
Tracing the origin of Imota and how the Ikorodu division came into being, Oba Ranodu stated, “Imota is never Ikorodu and from origin, antecedents and whatever, we were never
Ikorodu. Even from political antecedent, Imota was part of Old Epe, while Ikorodu itself was part of Ikeja division. They requested by predecessor, Oba Adejo said that Imota should be part of what is today known as Ikorodu division. People like Pa Dosun Alagbe, Otunba T.O.S. Benson and Otunba Adeniran Ogunsanya came to request of us to please leave Epe and join Ikorodu to form Ikorodu division because they are tired of having to go and serve under Ikeja. If you look at the arrangement before the newly created local government it is not an accident but a design for the areas to have co-operated together to achieve Ikorodu division. Then, all political wards in Ikorodu were A wards, while those in Imota were B wards; Igbogbo C wards and Ijede D wards. These were achieved because of level of co-operation and not through force or coercion. It is because they want to cheat us they reduced Igbogbo, Ijede and Imota into Ikorodu II is as if it is only Ikorodu.”
On the controversial headship of the divisional traditional council, Oba Agoro stated that by virtue of instrument establishing the division, the four monarchs are entitled to its headship which to him is not a personal issue, “There are documents backing these things and the enabling documents that were used in creating Ikorodu division and nay Ikorodu local government of old state that the traditional council should be headed by these four obas, starting with Aynagburen of Ikorodu, Ranodu of Imota, Alajede of Ijede and Adeboruwa of Igbogbo and should be done annually. So we are co-partners and there are government gazettes backing this up. There is Government White Paper on Justice Ogunaike Commission of Enquiry which looked into what it takes to create Lagos State from the old Colony. To answer your question, the issue of Ranodu of Imota being subordinate to Ayangburen of Ikorodu is never there and will never be there. The Ayangburen of Ikorodu monopolized this position since 1974 to the detriment of the other three Obas and that is why
people look at it as they are the only one entitled to the position. Oba Ajibade Agoro is now voicing out because I saw the document black and white when Ikorodu was just 7years old and have all the documents and if anybody is in doubt let such come to me. It is not a question of Ranodu of Imota fighting Ayangburen of Ikorodu.
Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro is not fighting Oba Salaudeen A.A. Oyefusi. It is a question of the position of Ranodu of Imota and that of the Ayangburen which is inheritable by other people. So, the Ikorodu elite should purge themselves of that.”
As an appeasement for the perceived marginalization of Ikorodu Constituency II and for the division to speak with one voice in clamouring for Governorship, Oba Ranodu seeks for consideration of Ikorodu Constituency II for the Federal House of Representatives sole seat,” If they (Ikorodu elite) want others to join them in agitating for Ikorodu for Governor, they must consider us too for other patronage. They cannot monopolize the Federal Constituency position, because it belongs to entire Ikorodu division and if they are reckoning with us at all (Igbogbo, Imota and Ijede), they should know that morally and legally that these people too are entitled to the position and that is more reason why they caused the name to be changed to Ikorodu I and II from Igbogbo,Imota and Ijede constituency. They should start addressing the issue from home by considering Igbogbo, Imota or Ijede sons and daughters for the House of Representatives position, then, we can now know that we are also major stakeholders in the arrangement of clamouring for Ikorodu for governor. They have to note that Ikorodu is not the same thing with Ikorodu division, they are two separate entities inspite of the name.”
At a public forum recently, Mr Kara Adeleke Olusegun while analyzing the present state of internal political situation regretfully lamented the political marginalization within the division which has contributed to the dwindling of the division’s political strength. “Gone are the days when these two constituencies were treated as equal parts of a Division. We were then not short-changed from the Centre. Politically in office sharing, at the Centre, both (Ikorodu Constuency I and Imota, Igbogbo and Ijede Constituency) were remembered rewardingly by the political leadership. In 1979 during Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s regime as Governor of Lagos State, Late Femi Alokolaro was Commissioner for Health (Constituency I), while Chief Olorunfunmi Basorun was Secretary to the State Government (Constituency II). We shot ourselves in the foot when our elite and powers that be locally decided to “blackout” Imota, Igbogbo and Ijede by reducing their constituency to just “IKORODU CONSTITUENCY II.”
Attempt to hear the side of Ayangburen proved abortive. When contacted, Mr Tunde Ajumobi, the Personal Assistant to HRM Oba Salaudeen Aflabi Oyefusi, promised to get back to this reporter but never did.
High Chief Kabir Sotobi, the Odofin of Ikorodu though told our reporter that he is not in position to comment on some of the issues raised by Oba Ajibade Agoro but added that the revered monarch must have been misquoted by our reporter. In his words, “I’m very sure you are not quoting Ranodu very well, because he was at the inauguration of Eminent Persons in Ikorodu with other monarchs. But be that as it may, I cannot react to what kabiyesi (Ranodu) has said except our own kabiyesi, HRM Oba Oyefusi directed me to respond. Ikorodu will never do anything that will jeopardize the continued existence of the Division and that is why all other parts of the division are being carried along in the 2015 political agenda.”
He added, “The Ayangburen of Ikorodu was made the consenting authority in the division and there is no contention about that.”