THERE is rumpus in Kwara south over the purported creation of Gbomina Ekiti Kingdom by a prince of one of the communities in the area.
The geographic expression known as Kwara South consists of seven local government areas. Three of the councils are populated by the Igbomina, two by the Ekiti and the remaining two by the Ibolo.
Communities in the areas have their distinct traditional rulers and each of the seven local government areas have its own tradition council.
This was the situation in the southern Kwara until March 5, this year when a prince of Rore community granted a national daily an interview, where he claimed to be the Oba of Gbomina.
The publication described the Warri, Delta based lawyer as “Oba Rufus Olarewaju Ajayi of Gbomina “.
Ajayi was quoted to have said that “the Gbomina Ekiti people, according to the first legendary story came from Ile – Ife as one of the grand children of our forefathers, called Ajagunla Fagbamila, who was the first Orangun Ila. The second legendary story is that the Gbomina Ekiti people stepped out from the palace in Benin city. “
“We have Ekiti local government in the present day Kwara state. It is part of our kingdom. We have part of us in Ekiti and part of us in Kwara state. The vice president and minister of information have supported us by helping us secure a facility from the world Bank to the tune of #2.5 billion which we call Gbomina Ekiti Development Fund (GED)”, Ajayi was further quoted as saying.
Disturbed by the content of the publication, the Omo Ibile Igbomina -the umbrella body of all socio-cultural groups in Igbomina land, has addressed a crowded press conference in Ilorin, Kwara state capital to set the record straight.
The national president of Omo Ibile Igbomina, Engineer Timothy Adebayo who addressed the newsmen was flanked by his Vice, Barrister They Oguntoye and Chief P.A.O Olorunishola (SAN) and other notable Igbomina leaders.
Adebayo said they were surprised to read a publication where Ajayi arrogated to himself the title of “OBAGBAJA AROLAGBADE II , “Oba of Gbomina Kingdom’.
The text of Adebayo ‘s press conference reads in part :”The whole racket would have been dismissed for a mere mockery business, but for our knowledge of his background. He is an Igbomina Individual from Rore in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
In the said publication, Mr Rufus Olarewaju claimed that he is the Oba of Gbomina –Ekiti Kingdom. He went further to purportedly give the historical narration of Igbomina people albeit disjointedly. He also attempted a revisionist history of the Yoruba race where he claimed Yoruba is the official language in the Garden of Eden. He concluded by saying that the he has created an “Gbomina Ekiti Development Fund” for which the sum of N2.5 billion had been deposited for provision of road network in his imaginary Gbomina Ekiti Kingdom.
“The Omo Ibile Igbomina , the accredited Cultural Association of Igbomina people in Kwara and Diaspora has decided to organise this Press Conference and put the record straight for innocent unsuspecting general public.
It is pertinent to state abinitio that there is no territory known as “Gbomina Ekiti Kingdom “. It does not exist neither in Kwara nor Osun where you have the Igbomina Land presently consists of Three Local Government Area (LGAs) in Kwara State; namely; Irepodun, Ifelodun and Isin as well as two Local Government Areas in Osun State Viz, Ila and Ifedayo LGAs.
“Before the 1976 Local Government reform, we used to have Igbomina / Ekiti division in Kwara State. During this time our traditional rulers in Igbomina Ekiti usually held their meetings at Ajase-Ipo, under the chairmanship of Olupo of Ajase-Ipo . These meetings were regularly held as forum for the Obas to discuss issues of common interest to the two ethnic groups. However with creation of more Local Government Areas the Ekiti block of Kwara now has 2 LGAs namely Ekiti and Oke-Ero LGAs while the Igbomina Kwara has three as aforementioned.
“By the 2004 Local Government amendment laws of Kwara State, each of these local governments now has their separate Traditional Councils; though they still maintain their cultural linkage and identity.
In Igbomina Land, both Kwara and Osun, as at today have seven (7) 1st Class Oba namely; the Orangun of Illa, the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo, the Elese of Igbaja, the Olomu of Omu-Aran, the Orangun of Oke-Illa, the Olupako of Share, and the Olusin of Isanlu Isin. Each of them presides over his Local Government Traditional Council meetings. However when they meet as Igbomina Obas in Kwara, Olupo of Ajase-Ipo presides while Orangun of Illa presides in Osun.
“The e big question now is, where is the “Gbomina Ekiti Kingdom” under the Obaship of “Oba Rufus Olarewaju Ajayi”? The answer is no
It is in the light of the foregoing that we see the claim of Mr Rufus Ajayi as fallacious . As a matter of fact, the entire interview in the publication is a farce lacking in substance, victitious and misleading, on account of the colossal damage that may have been done to genuine Igbomina sons and daughters home and abroad.
“Therefore, Mr. Olarewaju “Gbomina Ekiti Kingdom” is a figment of his own imagination. The purpose of “Gbomina Kingdom “ is a self creation to carve a non existing empire probably for a basis to belong to Delta State Traditional Council where he currently lives among others.
For the purpose of information, it is necessary at this juncture to reveal the person of Mr Olarewaju to the general public. Mr Rufus Olarewaju is a lawyer, born in Rore in Irepodun local government area of Kwara State.
Though born into one of the ruling families in Rore , he is however not a Chief talkless of being an Oba. The reigning king in Rore is Oba Ezekiel Olawale Oyewole who came to the throne over a decade ago.
Mr Olarewaju practices law in Warri, Niger Delta Area where he has been parading himself as a king and goes about in “Royal Apparel”.
“We want to refute categorically that there is nothing like “Gbomina Ekiti Kingdom . There is nothing like “Gbomina Ekiti Trust Fund” known to people of Igbomina in Kwara State .
Finally, the entire sons and daughters of Igbomina, home and abroad disassociate themselves from the contents and form of the said publication.”