- If the recent vituperation of the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alh. Salihu Woru Mohammed against the legitimate demand of the good people of Moro Local Government for the grading/upgrading of their Traditional Rulers is not refuted, the public may be swayed into believing that the agitation of Moro people are unfounded. The piece written by the Magaji Nda on behalf of Ilorin Emirate Council reeks like a terrible fart that offends the nostrils.
- It should be noted that the deafening agitation of Moro people is the crest of a wave of struggle for emancipation, that Yoruba Traditional Rulers be graded/upgraded, particularly the Oba of Jebba and the Ohoro of Shao, and be separated from the Ilorin Emirate Council. This demand is not unfounded as it is in consonance with the judgement of a Kwara State High Court delivered in 1997 in Suit No. KWS/231/89 which held that Moro is not part of Ilorin Emirate. It is this same obnoxious Emirate system that has been responsible for the intermittent de-grading and non-grading at all of all native Yoruba Traditional Rulers not only in Moro but including Asa, Ilorin West, Ilorin East and Ilorin South Local Government Areas.
- Further still, another judgement of the Kwara State High Court delivered in 2014 in Suit No. KWS/2c/2009 which restored the 3rd Class status of HRM the Oba of Jebba, and by implication that of HRM the Ohoro of Shao, and other Traditional Chiefs in Ilorin, remains sacrosanct and very much alive. The refusal of the erstwhile administrations of Dr. Bukola Saraki and Alh. AbdulFatah Ahmed to implement those judgements was due to the subterranean influence of Ilorin Emirate hegemonists, in conspiracy with the former Governors to illegally subvert the genuine wishes of the people of Moro, Asa, Ilorin West, Ilorin East and Ilorin South LGAs, for self determination and freedom.
- Perhaps, the following historical excursion will suffice: It is on record that the Ohoro of Shao and the then District Head of Ipaiye, both in Moro LGA, as well as the Balogun Ajikobi and Balogun Gambari of Ilorin, were all recognized Graded Traditional Chiefs of different classes by the British Colonial Administration, at different times, as far back as 1907, 1913 and 1916 in the old Northern Region. It is also a fact that the Emir of Ilorin was only recognized as Graded Chief after them in 1920! These facts are still very much available at the National Archives in Kaduna till date for those who may want to verify. Both the Ohoro of Shao and the Oba of Jebba were graded as 3rd Class Chiefs by Adamu Attah’s Administration in 1983. Their grading was later withdrawn by the Latinwo administration in 1984 through the subterranean influence of the Emir of Ilorin. Their 3rd Class status as Traditional Chiefs was restored by Governor Muhammed Lawal in 2002 but it was again withdrawn, through the influence of the Emir of Ilorin by Dr. Bukola Saraki when he came into office in 2003. The discomfiture of Ilorin Emirate Council is its refusal to accept the reality of co-habiting with any graded Chief under the oppressive Emirate system. Haba now! Live and let live!!
- Therefore, Magaji Nda’s claim that Yoruba Traditional Rulers in Ilorin Emirate cannot be graded unless the 1999 Constitution is amended is both shallow and laughable. If Magaji Nda can be pardoned for being an ignoramus in law, his Principals are certainly not, because they are learned. Was it not the replica of the 1999 Constitution the Court relied upon when it held that Moro is not part of Ilorin Emirate? Did Governor Ganduje of Kano State get the 1999 Constitution amended before he appointed, installed and graded four additional First Class Emirs in Kano State? Is the Emirate system in Ilorin more Emirate than that of Kano or any other core Northern Emirate for that matter? Truth is that you cannot lose out in court and continue to advance your defeated arguments outside the court. One fact the Ilorin Emirate Council should remind itself of is that, coming out brazenly to assert that Moro is part of Ilorin Emirate amounts to contempt of court, and is actionable in court of law. If Magaji Nda does not know, his Principals know better, and should call him to order.
- However, it is gladdening this time around that most of the well informed and sincere people of Ilorin who are lovers of justice and freedom, are concerned about the unpopular and continuous oppression against the Traditional Chiefs in Moro, Asa, and Ilorin over the issue of grading, and are anxious to see an end to the unjust and unacceptable imbalance currently existing among the three Senatorial Districts of Kwara State.
- There is therefore the hope that the present administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq would do the needful soonest, in order to correct the imbalance, and ameliorate the past injustices meted on the Traditional Chiefs of Moro, Asa, Ilorin West, Ilorin East and Ilorin South LGAs, in the overall interest and continued peaceful co-existence of the entire people of Kwara State.
- God bless Kwara State.
Elder S. O. Abogunrin - President, Yoruba Council of Elders Kwara State.
Alh. Abdullateef Bamidele - Secretary, Afenifere Renewal Group, Kwara State Chapter.
Alh. Abdulkareem Yusuf - President, Jebba Descendants Union in Moro LGA.
Dr. Kehinde Akano - P.R.O, Shao Community Development Association in Moro LGA.
Alh. Abdulrahim Akore - Jagunmolu of Budo-Egbaland, Budo-Egba Descendants Union in Asa LGA.
Alh. Hassan Amao - National Secretary, Afonja Descendants Union in Ilorin East LGA.
Alfa Bello Alao - Oluode of Oke-Oyi in Ilorin East LGA.
Chief James A. Adebola - Alajogun of Apadoland in Ilorin East LGA.
Sheikh Abdulrahim Aduanigba - Chief Imam Yoruba of Ilorin (Ilorin West LGA)
This advertorial was published in The Nation Newspaper edition of 18th May, 2020, by the Committee of Yoruba Leaders in Asa, Moro, Ilorin West, Ilorin East, and Ilorin South LGAs.