Indigenes of Remo area of Ogun State yesterday stormed the Ogun State House of Assembly to protest against the proposed creation of Local Council Development Areas in the state.
This is coming as traditional rulers under the leadership of Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Micheal Adeniyi Sonariwo petitioned the Assembly on the same matter.
The agitation, it was gathered, was the secession of Orile-Oko from Remoland to Obafemi Owode local government area which is under Egba section.
The protesters in their hundreds were armed with placards with inscription like, ‘Avoid war, embrace peace, Orile-Oko belongs to Ogun East’, ‘Enough is enough, return Orile-Oko to her roots ‘Remoland’, ‘Remo Youths say no to imposition, Orile-Oko is our land’, ‘Respect our heritage, norms and culture, Orile-Oko is ours in Remoland’, amongst others.
The protesters were led to the Assembly by the son of the late popular activist, Segun Oke-Owo of ‘Ali Must Go’ fame, Okeowo Segun Kayode.
Speaking on behalf of the Remo chiefs, the Atunluto of Remoland and former Chairman of Remo North local government, Chief Pekun Awobona said the protest was to give support to the petitions earlier forwarded by the Remo Traditional Council.
Chief Awobona appealed to the Assemblymen not to accede to the request of the Governor to the effect of excising Orile-Oko to Obafemi Owode local government.
He said, “We are here to give support to the petition that was submitted to the House by the Remo Obas, we are here to say that Orile-Oko totally belongs to Remo and that has been so for ages.
“Remo and Egba people have been cohabiting peacefully in Orile-Oko for ages, we have not had any quarrel, we live peacefully but the Executive Governor of Ogun, governor Amosun wanted to create LCDAs, we thank him for this, because it is a way of development.
“But in doing that, we say ‘who goes to equity must go with clean hands’, and therefore Orile-Oko which has been part and parcel of Remoland has been excised and merged with Obafemi Owode local government. Some people who live in Orile-Oko are Remo people while others are Egba people the land land totally belongs to Remo and ages have shown this.
“Past petitions, past inquiries, name it, they have all supported Orile-Oko to be part of Remoland, not a single of them has shown that Orile-Oko belongs to any other part other than Remo.
“And therefore, we have come to seek the assistance of the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, and his distinguished members that they should return or not accede to the request of his Excellency merging Orile-Oko with Obafemi Owode local government because Orile-Oko is part of Remo, we are not ready to concede and inch square of Orile-Oko.”
Addressing the protesters, the Speaker of the House, Suraj Isola Adekunbi who was flanked by the majority leader, Yinka Mafe promised to look at the agitation of the Remo people.
He explained that the bill will soon be committed to committee stage where stakeholders would be invited to be part of the discussion.
Meanwhile, the bill to create the LCDAs yesterday scaled the second reading during the plenary.