Kunle Adelabu, Ameenat Olanrewaju, Itunuoluwa Ogundipe & Oluwabukola Oluwoopejo
As part of the activities marking the 26th edition of the Ikorodu –Oga Day Celebration, an annual event organised by the Ikorodu-Oga Development Association (IKODASS), a book about the history of Ikorodu township and its environs was on Monday, November 13, 2017, presented to the public.
At the launch of the book, titled, ‘Orunsen: The Source’ , which took place inside the main hall of the Ikorodu Town Hall, were state functionaries, eminent personalities, representatives of the traditional institutions, political leaders, youth groups and students among others.
Speaking on how the book came into being, the publisher, Princess Aderoju Ladega, stated that her encounter with her dad’s files brought up so many questions which were compounded in her course of getting answers.
“In 2014, while I was reading through my dad’s old files, I came across documents on my grandfather. This prompted me to ask my dad certain questions but his answers brought about more questions, names of people and towns”, she stated.
“The information he was divulging to me seemed old but relevant to us as a people, and that motivated the publication of my last book, ‘The Lion of Oke-Ado’ in honour of my grandfather, Late Oba Samuel Oderinde Ladega, Olupekan II, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu (1953 – 1970) and also this book, (Orunshen: ‘The Source’)”, she explained.
She also explained what motivated her to write ‘Orunshen’.
“Reading books on the origin of other towns like Remo, Ijebu, Abeokuta, Ibadan amongst others further encouraged my desire for history and the opportunity to bring together the indigenous towns in Ikorodu division with the believe that the division deserves a space in the history of Africa. If we do not write our own history, who will?”, she asked.
“This book details the origin of ten indigenous towns in Ikorodu division. It is a book that brings back our story to us. It will refresh the memory of the older generations and keep the younger generations in touch with our history”.
“The book provides a compelling compilation of the unique founding of these ten indigenous towns (Ikorodu, Imota, Igbogbo, Ipakodo, Isiwu, Agura, Owutu, Ijede, Egbin and Ewu-Elepe) in its 134 page leaflets”.
Meanwhile,the chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Aremu Sule, President of the Oriwu Club, who was represented at the occasion by Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, former Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture & Cooperatives,in his address stated that Ikorodu is not all about social activities as sons and daughters of the town are also excelling in academia, business, politics, and other aspects of human endeavours.
He added that when an author writes based on family and cultural background, such authors always open door for further discourse from within which is a positive development.
He, therefore, challenged others to react to any assertion(s) in the book by also writing theirs.
In his own address, Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru, the Chairman of the Ikorodu-Oga Development Association (IKODASS), stated that he feels good not because he was involved in the writing and presentation of the book, “but for the fact that we have another book wherein the story of Ikorodu and its neighboring towns could be understood from another view point.It is indeed a delight feeling”, he stated.
The IKODASS Chairman stated further that a nation or people without history cannot understand the dynamism of their future.
Like Alhaji Aremu,he also challenged anyone who feels that the information provided in the book is not correct to react by writing his or her own version.
“Writing about the history of a people or town should not in any way breed animosity or rancor among those who feel that some parts of the book are incorrect or historically fallacious. There is always an opportunity for the readers to present his/her own history from his/her own perspective which of course should be left to the reader to determine the objectivity of the historian or the recorder”, he challenged.
While reviewing the book, Mr Hakeem Adenekan stated, “Truth is the bane of our existence today as Africans, nay Nigerians,it is the erosion – either wittingly or unwittingly, of our interest in our history. It is, therefore, gratifying to note that against the backdrop of general apathy of our institutions and leading lights of our culture, tradition and history, a young Nigerian and Princess of Ikorodu town, Aderoju Oluwaseun Ladega, has taken the pains to aggregate, document and share the history of that town, which stands out among others in Lagos State, with other Nigerians. This is by no means a small feat”, he stated.
In his analysis of the 134-page historical book on ten independent and indigenous towns in Ikorodu division, the reviewer also added, “Beyond tracing the beginning of each of these towns, there is a consistent lay-out of the genealogies of each of the ruling houses in all the highlighted houses in the highlighted towns”.
“It is particularly noteworthy that on page 2, the cognomen (Oriki) of all Ikorodu indigenes is expressively documented. For the sons and daughters, at home or in diaspora, this page offers them that sense of cultural identity which is more than what money can buy”,the reviewer stated.
“From customs and traditions which are peculiar to Ikorodu people, we are let into the sense of order with which the cultural institutions ruled with a great deal of success”,he added
Adenekan, in his conclusion, stated, “Over and above all considerations, Ikorodu has a huge potential for tourism, which is waiting to be explored and exploited”.
He listed some of the tourism sites in Ikorodu division such as Nigerian Port Authority, Origin Gradens and Zoo, Lagos State Parks, Dangote Industry, Ikorodu Ferry terminal among many others.
Other eminent persons at the event were Hon. Babajimi Benson, Member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, Chairman, Redbrick Limited and the Chief Launcher, Dr Tajudeen Bawallah, a scholar.
Others include Dr Taiwo Hassan, Deputy Medical Director of the General Hospital, Ikorodu, Hon. Adeola Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Hon. Ameen Ola Apanisile, Vice chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Princess Folashade Olabanji-Oba, Vice Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, Hon. Adeola Jokomba, former chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Alhaja Abiodun Ogunniyi, Principal, Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu, Mayor Deen Sanwoola, Director-General, iCare Foundation, Otunba Afolabi Babatunde and Mr Sogo Oshikoya among others.