Rumpus in Ogun East over proposed Ijebu State

Posted by: Dare Odufowokan in Politics on The Nations Assistant Editor, Dare Odufowokan, reports that the two major clans in the proposed Ijebu state are already exchanging words over choice of the capital city and other issues
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A new wave of political disagreement is blowing across theeastern senatorial district in Ogun State over the proposed creation of Ijebu state. The state, according to the recommendation of the ongoing national conference, would comprise of the two old divisions in the district, namely the defunct Ijebu and Remo divisions. The National Conference last week took a bold and unprecedented step under a democratic dispensation when it approved 18 requests, in principle, for state creation across the country as a way of meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the people- a recommendation many will largely put to rest decades of agitations by promoters of new states. The resolution was, among many others, adopted by delegates at plenary while considering the report of the Standing Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government, which was subjected to robust debates.fb ijebustate2 The approved requests, subject to the amendment of the constitution, were proposed by the committee and they include Apa State from the present Benue, Kainji from Niger State, Katagum from Bauchi State, Savannah State from Borno, Amana from Adamawa, Ghari from Kano and Gurara from Kaduna. Others are Etiti State from the South-East zone, Aba from Abia, Adada from Enugu, Njaba/Anim from both Anambra and Imo States, Ogoja from Cross River, Anioma from Delta, Ijebu from Ogun, New Oyo from the present Oyo State and unnamed others. Like in most places where states have been proposed, there is a frenzy of meetings and discussions in the district over the modalities and steps to be taken to ensure the actualisation of the age-long dream of having a state of their own. However, there are sharp disagreements between stakeholders from the two geo-political units over certain aspects of the proposed state. For one, the issue of where the capital of the new state should be cited is once again generating serious heat. Another bone of contention is the proposed name of the state. While stakeholders from Ijebuland are comfortable with the name proposed by the Confab, their Remo counterparts would rather see the named amended to be more reflective of the identities of the two geo-political units that will become the new state. Also there are talks about how the proposed 20 local government areas in the state should be shared between the two. Uncomfirmed reports say the current proposal allocated 14 LGAs to Ijebu, leaving Remo with six. This, to political elites from the latter, is unacceptable. Speaking at a press conference called to address the issues in Sagamu, leaders of The Remo Group (TRG33), a pan Remo socio-political organisation, said they see many signs pointing to continued marginalisation in the modalities already outlined for the new state by the national conference. The group, which claimed to be committed to the protection and promotion of the interest of Remo Kingdom, said its decision to speak out quickly is informed by the need for the two units to meet and iron out grey areas so as to be able to pursue the actualisation of the new state collectively. Speaking at the conference, Ommoba Adepeju Abraham, Chairman of the Socio-political Committee of the group said; “though the group is non-partisan, it is not oblivious of the need for our people to be actively involved in the politics of the land in order to be able to ensure Remoland gets its rights and priviledges in the scheme of things both locally and nationally. Consequently, TRG finds it instructive and urgent to state our position on the proposed creation of Ijebu State as announced by the ongoing National Conference in Abuja. While we, like most people of Remoland, are very pleased with the decision to create a state for us out of the present Ogun State, we take serious exemptions to certain modalities in the proposed Ijebu State. Hence, we make bold to say Remo people will vigourously oppose the plan to make us “second class citizens” in an entity where historically, traditionally and economically, we’ve been equal partners with our Ijebu brothers and sisters for decades.” According to him, the group is uncomfortable with alleged plans to name the new state Ijebu state and put the capital at Ijebu-Ode. “Our take is that the new entity should reflect the joint ownership and equality of the co-operating partners, i.e the Ijebu and Remo geo-political units of present Ogun East Senatorial District. We recall that Remo has been an independent entity existing alongside Ijebu, Egba, Oyo, etc as a division as far back as April, 1932. Also, it is on record that when it was time to create local government areas, Remo and Ijebu got lumped together, the entity was named Ijebu/Remo Local Government and not just Ijebu LGA nor Remo LGA. Of course, the administrative headquarters was at Ijebu Ode and our people had no problem accepting that because the name of the council clearly reflect joint ownership by the two clans. It is in the light of this that we declare that any arrangement that will bury the identity and equality of the Remo clan in the new state is unacceptable to us,” he explained. Saying the people of Remoland are not out to forment unnecessary trouble, the TRG chief said any of the two options they are putting forward will satisfy their yearning as a people . “To resolve this impasse, we say it is either we have Ijebu-Remo state with Ijebu-Ode as capital or we have Ijebu state with Sagamu as capital. Anything short of recognising the equality of the two geo-political units in the proposed state will be unfair and unacceptable to us. Secondly, while we want to believe this did not emanate from any official quarter, we will nonetheless want to state clearly that an arrangement that will give Ijebu 14 local government areas and leave Remo with six out of the proposed 20 LGAs will not augur well and therefore should not be considered or attempted,” h said. But reacting to the position of the group in a press release, another group, Movement for the Creation of Ijebu State (MCOIS) said there is nothing wrong with the name and proposed capital of the new state. The release, signed by Otunba Sule Aranju and Reverend Moses Omobulejo, Chairman and Secretary respectively, condemned what it described as an attempt to drag the agitation for the new state back. “We are shocked that people could be talking about where the capital should be and what the name of a state that has been recommended by the national conference should be. These were decisions taken and agreed upon even before the proposal to demand for a new state was sent to the conference. There is no doubt that there can be no better name to call the new state than the one recommended by the Confab. And to say the capital should be anywhere else other than Ijebu Ode is to be unrealistic. Ijebu-Ode is obviously the most suitable place for the capital in Ijebuland. We therefore appeal to our brothers and sisters in Remoland not to do anything that can truncate the actualisation of our proposed state. We urge that all hands should be on deck for the tasks ahead as we push forward on the road to getting Ijebu state in the shortest time possible,” MCOIS said. “Ijebu Ode is suitable among Ijebu cities. We are talking about Remo cities. We are clamouring for equity and fairness. The two geo-political units in the proposed Ijebu State. My own take is even that the name is either Ijebu-Remo State with capital in Ijebu Ode or Ijebu State with capital in Sagamu. Nobody can tell me that Sagamu cannot conveniently rival Ijebu-Ode in all ramification as a state capital. Good neigbourliness can only thrive where there’s equity and fairness,” Abraham said while debunking claims by ISM that Ijebu-Ode remains the most suitable place to serve as the capital of the new state. According to the TRG chieftain, all other sentiments and consideration must give way to justice and equity if the two geo-political units in the proposed state are to start their new socio-political alliance on a good note. “It will be a sad thing for us to go into the new state with the same old feeling of marginalisation we nurtured for years here in Ogun State. But for providence that threw up Otunba Gbenga Daniel as the candidate of the then less fancied Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003, coupled with his own political sagacity, Remoland, in spite of our place of pride in the politics of not just Ogun State, but the whole of Yorubaland, would still be begging to be given a chance to govern the state. We cannot afford to be treated same way in a new state. This is why we are quickly drawing attention to the imbalances in the proposed arrangement. We either share the name with our Ijebu brethren or we take the capital. Where ever the capital is located in Remoland, be it Sagamu or Ikenne or even Ode Remo, is immaterial to us. All we seek is fairness and inclusiveness,” he added. Abraham added that to further discuss the raging issues, a Pan-Remo Assembly has been slated for Sunday 13th July at Irolu Remo Town hall.


One response to “Rumpus in Ogun East over proposed Ijebu State

  1. It’s the right time for the Royal Ijebu-Remo State to come forward.Mistakes was made in the past by colonial masters,so let reason win the argument.


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