My Position on The Attempt by Mallam Mohammed Adoga Baiyerohi to Distort Oworo History and Tradition Through Falsehood (Volume 1)
I, Hon. Idris Ndako, a member of the Kogi State House of Assembly representing Lokoja II is here to straighten the misinformation and disinformation being peddled about by the current Olu of Oworo, Mallam Mohammed Adoga Baiyerohi about myself and Oworo land in general. The unguarded statements of the Olu of Oworo have degenerated to serious wrangling rocking Oworo district in recent time. At first, I did not want to join issues with him and his cohorts who have not relented in spreading falsehood throughout the length and breadth of Oworo land.
This is not an act of cowardice on my part but to give peace a chance which has been my motto. Today, I am much compelled to do so in order to thwart all the tissues of lies been peddled about by the group. I owe it as a duty to put every Oworo person and friends of Oworo land to know all the happenings concerning the flagrant disobedience of Olu of Oworo to adhere to the dictates of his office as a traditional ruler.
Many watchers of what may likely happen in no distant time have predicted massive crises in the district if handled carelessly. This has prompted the Iwo- Masi ruling houses to quickly come out for government intervention over the looming crises ahead. I am highly disappointed about the wicked move to paint me black by the Olu of Oworo and his co – travelers, describing me as the person behind the call for his dethronement from office. I will never be a party to such obnoxious move but rather, I will support what I feel is right for my people who had voted me twice to represent them in the Kogi State House of Assembly.
I want to believe that I have not disappointed them all this while, and I have promised them not to fail them too. As a member of the House of Assembly, I am mandated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to articulate, present bills and motions that may bring about socio-economic development to my constituency as well as bring before the House complains and problems of the people I represent that may be inimical to their communities and this is what I did on the floor of the House on 20th February, 2020 after receiving petition on behalf of the people which was addressed to the speaker and members of the House.
By this singular act, I have not done anything amiss because that is what the constitution of Nigeria demands from me as their representative in the current government.
Issues at Stake
Now that the Olu of Oworo has gone ahead to castigate me through his press release and at different fora, I have no option left for me than to defend myself and expose his unholy practices in the district which are very glaring and known to an average Oworo person. I am a bona fide Oworo person, having full history of my people and the land; I have my facts at my finger tips on the happenings under the leadership of Mallam Baiyerohi in the last ten years while serving in the office of the Olu of Oworo. As a leader in my own right, I have the responsibility to bring decorum or sanity to the land for peace and progress to reign in our land.
For all armchair critics of my action for presenting the complain of the Iwo- Masi ruling houses (Abah Ajeto and Ajopa) they are ignorant of the operation of the House and they should be regarded as such. It is part of my duty to receive and present my people’s complain to the House for amicable resolution and I have used the same avenue to solve several similar problems of our people and this case of the Olu of Oworo cannot be an exemption. We cannot blame the Iwo- Masi ruling houses for taking a civilized approach to resolve the crises by resorting to approach the House of Assembly through me to come to their aid instead of taking arms against one another. The Iwo-Masi ruling houses need to be commended for the path of honour they have taken to resolve their grievances with the other opposing ruling houses namely Okpolo and Agbosi. I never initiated the petition against the Olu of Oworo, but the Iwo-Masi ruling houses did, they are very knowledgeable and versed in their history and they felt highly disappointed and disturbed with the abuse of power as demonstrated by Mallam Baiyerohi who they see as only out to distort history and tradition of Oworo land, they felt he must be stopped from destroying the rich culture and good legacies handed over to them by their ancestors. They took the path of honour by approaching the House of Assembly for a quick intervention.
State Government Quick Intervention Needed
The House of Assembly is at liberty to take the most appropriate measure to deal with the matter at hand and their recommendations get final approval of the state government. It is not for me to determine the outcome of the petition sent to the House by the Iwo- Masi ruling houses. Flagrant disobedience to the provisions of section 13(1) of the chiefs (appointment, deposition and establishment of Traditional council in Kogi State, says “The Governor- in- Council after due inquiry and consultation with the persons concerned with the selection, election and appointment of chief may depose, remove, banish, discipline or suspend any chief whether appointed before or after the commencement of this law for any act of gross misconduct or upon request by the people of his domain in accordance with native law and custom or is necessary in the interest of peace, order or good governance.” From the above, it is clear that the House of Assembly can wade into such matter raised above and make necessary recommendations to His Excellency the Executive Governor of Kogi State to act upon accordingly.
It is in public domain that the Olu of Oworo, Mallam Baiyerohi used his exalted position to work against all progressive policies of this government in the state. He worked and supported the opposition party in his domain especially in Jakura where he comes from, but to God’s glory. All Progressives Congress (APC) came out victorious in Lokoja II constituency to his disappointment. So I am not too surprise with the continuous attacks he has mounted against me all this while.
The issue of land ownership raised by the Olu of Oworo and his foot soldiers did not come to me too as a surprise. If you could recall, on 3rd January, 2014, Mallam Baiyerohi sued my ancestral community, Isegba Felele Obah in his dirty attempt for his usual land grabbing by using falsehood and distortion of facts claiming that the original owners or inhabitants of the land he has in mind to take –over have long been wiped out from the surface of this earth (total extinction) as a result of epidemic (deadly disease) that invaded their land many years ago.
He argues that the said land has been inherited and owned by his own people, the Agbosi. But to those who are well equipped with the history of Oworo land, they know quiet well that his claim about the ownership of Isegba Felele land is more or less a fallacy and it holds no water. I, Hon. Idris Ndako and several thousands of the original landowners from Isegba Felele- Obah community are heartily alive, kicking and waxing stronger on our fatherland and we have resolved not to allow an inch of our land to be taken over by greedy individual land grabber such as person like Baiyerohi. It is our inheritance. Even before the enthronement of Mallam Baiyerohi as the Olu of Oworo several attempts were made to resolve the issue of Isegba Felele-Obah Community land issue at different fora. one of such moves was the interactive meeting held on the 27th November, 2007 between the Oworo Traditional council and the Isegba Felele-Obah Community of Royal House Felele and they arrived at this powerful resolution, I quote “that the council hereby took cognizance of the fact that Isegba community Felele-Obah is the legal, lawful and bonafide owner of land lying at Felele- Crusher and Idi- Ori all in Oworo district.” To buttress the above position, four prominent chiefs from Oworo land signed communique affirming that the land described above belongs to Isegba Felele-Obah Community. The communique was signed on the 28th November, 2007 with the declaration that the said land is for Isegba Felele-Obah. The four wise men, men of high integrity included Abdullahi Adama (Shaaba of Oworo land), A.B Mokelu (Wakili of Oworo land), Yakubu Ejinda (Rani of Oworo land) and Hon.
G.J Ehimoni (Mayaki of Oworo land). One of these great personalities is still alive to testify to this unique meeting of 2007. Also, there are paper documents that back that declaration with us. These four apostles of peace ruled Oworo land for eight years and the land witnessed peace and tranquillity until Baiyerohi came on board to distort history for his selfish gain. The attempt by the non-repentant Olu of Oworo to still further press hard to grab Isegba Felele-Obah land by all means was equally opposed by Oworo Traditional council, Agbaja in 2013. All the kings in Oworo land unanimously agreed to inform his Royal Highness, the Olu of Oworo (Baiyerohi) to leave the land to Isegba community in the interest of peace in the district. The following kings signed the document. Ballo of Oyo, Bajana of Obajana, Oludo of Apata, Eleson of Iwaa/ Amogbe, Okatama of Jamata, Obaro of Emu, Ogidiga of Ohono, Obadofin of Tajimi, Obadofin of Oshokohoko and Obayelu of Ogbabon.
Crisis In Oworo land
Let it be known to you all, that the current occupier of Olu of Oworo has ignited crises in various Oworo communities for his selfish interest which has brought disunity and lack of development to the district. Virtually all communities in Oworo land is engulfed with one crisis or the other due to some reasons filed at the House of Assembly by the Iwo- Masi ruling houses who are demanding for his sack or dethronement in no distant time in order to avoid avoidable deep crises that may envelop the whole district.
To the people, the only panacea to the current upheaval in the district is the removal of the current Olu of Oworo from office because of his non- accessibility and high handedness over issues affecting the district. It should be noted that it is the Iwo – Masi that can withdraw various charges against the Olu Oworo and in the absence of this, the Kogi State House of Assembly and the Executive Governor of the state will be compelled by law to act accordingly on this burning issue raging in Oworo land. Mallam Baiyerohi and his co- pilots must stop playing to the gallery and face the facts squarely and see how he can come out clean from all the allegations levied against him. He should stop using social media and other cheap media outfits to wrongly rewrite our history in Oworo land. He must stop blackmailing me and others who meant well for our district. All the co- travelers of the Olu of Oworo precisely: Aiyedogban Berida, Sule O. Kassim, Seidu Dauda Oberewa, Foluwaso O. Obanla, Oluseyi Ayodele and Adamu G. Abdullahi must trend with caution and stop spreading falsehood. They must have a rethink and follow the path of honour.
Attacks on Barr A.O. Musa & Co.
I wish to state clearly that Barr. A.O. Musa and Co. is made up of hardworking and formidable experts, they have been good friends of the Oworo people and engaging them to handle the current issue involving the Olu of Oworo is never out of place. Baiyerohi and friends should not see the lawyers from that chambers as foes but rather doing their work. As an individual, I, Hon. Ndako is free to approach a solicitor of my choice to work for me if my name is being dragged to the mud by person like Mallam Baiyerohi.
As long as I remain the representative of the good people of Lokoja II in the State House of Assembly, I will continue to discharge my duties as provided for by the Nigerian constitution. The Iwo- Masi ruling houses have done everything within their traditional powers to let Baiyerohi to listen to voice of reason but he will not have any of that, he has to jettison his hard-line posture on some issues raised in the letter sent to the House of Assembly and respect the views of the entire Oworo people. He has flagrantly desecrated the culture and tradition of his people and the people are demanding for justice from the government to serve as a deterrent to erratic traditional rulers in the state who would not listen to their subjects. There are wide opportunities for the Olu of Oworo to defend himself before the House of Assembly. The general public should discard all the false account raised by Baiyerohi. Let us all pursue collective interest in Oworo land.
Signed: Hon. Idris Ndako Member, Kogi State House of Assembly.