Ondo D’gov breaks Silence over sea surge in Ayetoro community

Ondo D’gov breaks Silence over sea surge in Ayetoro community

*** speaks on The History And Heroes Of The Ilajes

The deputy governor of Ondo state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has urged natives of the riverine area of the state and other relevant stakeholders to intensify more commitment on the development of the coastal area and rescue it from going into extinction.

Aiyedatiwa stated this at the public presentation of a book titled
The History And Heroes Of The Ilajes  written by Mr Taiwo Gbamila held on Thursday in Akure the Ondo state capital.

Eminent personalities from all walks of life witnessed the Public presentation and launching of the book.

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The book

Aiyedatiwa said “Indeed Ilaje history is rich and interesting with so much memories and people with outstanding contributions to Nigeria and ilaje nation.

We have had many of our people put together the people and history of Ilaje, the likes of Chief Omoyele, Chief Prof. Ebisemiju among others have all documented our history from all fronts.

Your own book did not really go into the history deeply, which is a good thing. Your resolve to document and profile the heroes is truly appreciated and this will go a long way in helping our children and grand children to really know more about our people and their contributions to Nigeria and Ilaje nation.

Indeed, Ilaje Nation is as old as Nigeria and we are proud of our heritage.

Let me use this occasion to call on all our leaders, kabiyesis and other well meaning Ilaje personalities that we have a big task on our hands and we must all collectively rise up to the occasion.

What I am talking about is the issue of insecurity, cultist activities and other vices that are inimical to the development of our land.

Like we say in ilaje “ULENUSE”. This is not a job for government alone, it is our collective responsibility to educate our children on the danger of cultism and the attendant consequences.

I will also use this occasion to appeal to our leaders to join us to build our land back better by engaging our people/graduates and give them employment where we can. If you lift up one person today, he is likely to lift up another.

Let us all here know that despite the challenges we face today, I strongly believe that when we all stand together we can change the narrative for the better. And, we must stand together to build our land and our people.

Today we all know the current state of Aiyetoro community that is almost going into extinction due to not only the sea surge but also by human activities like it is currently happening at Idi-Ogba where our people are deliberately creating imminent environmental disaster.

Let us all call and speak to our people on the need to keep what we have.”

The deputy governor also commended the author, Mr Gbamila for his creativity to document history of ilaje land.

Aiyedatiwa said “Let me congratulate Taiwo Gbamila on this well researched book and for putting pen to paper to document our history, people/heroes.

You have done well and I commend you. To all our heroes, those late, may their gentle souls rest in peace and those alive, we are proud of you all.”

In a remark, Gbamila said “ I have authored 4 different books to date. They are;
(i) Victims of political quagmire in Nigeria – a book that reveals the names of some prominent Nigerians that were victims of high-profile assassinations.

(ii) On the footsteps of His Master and Savour – a biographic book on Pastor J.T Kalejaiye, the Intercontinental Evangelist of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

(iii) A biographic book in view on Bishop Idowu Olugbemi, The Lord Bishop of Anglican Communion, Ilaje Diocese.;and

(iv) The History and Heroes of the Ilajes

The thought for this book – The History and Heroes of the Ilajes was engendered in 2017 when I discovered that there was no specific activity or programme or book written in honour of our founding fathers and their titanic struggles to give us a place in the sun.

The History and Heroes of the Ilajes can be described as an encyclopedia on the Ilaje people of Ondo State, Nigeria.

This publication serves as the first edition which touches on the historical background of the famous Ilaje people.

However, I am not claiming total perfection but I do believe that this publication will provoke further research which will give birth to improvement of this edition.

Afterall, the Old Testament in the Bible gave birth to New Testament for the perfect transformation of the scripture.

In order to douse unnecessary controversy, no attempt is made in the book to come into any conclusion that the names mentioned and x-rayed in the book are the only prominent sons and daughters of Ilaje land.

I believe there are many more, whose names would hopefully feature in subsequent editions.
Note: All the names mentioned in this edition can easily be traced through the index in the last four pages of the book.

No doubt, the book is informative and historical, thus making it a must-read for researchers, students, teachers and practitioners of politics and history and the general public at large who would like to know one or two things about the great Ilaje people.”

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Gbamila( second from the right side) at the public presentation of his book

PREFACE OF THE BOOK

Glory, honour and adoration be unto our Lord, the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son and the Holy Spirit who has endowed me with the knowledge of His will to produce a reference book for Ilaje nation despite our internal squabbles. Certainly, if man promotes you, you may fail but if God promotes you, man has no choice.

The thought for the book was engendered in 2017 when I discovered the absence of a specific activity or programme or book written to honour and remember our founding fathers who were great warriors and visionaries. It would be a great disservice to this great people if their efforts are not documented appropriately for generations yet unborn.

Therefore, I think it is pertinent we reflect on our yesterday, ponder our today and build hope for our tomorrow and the upcoming generations. The rich and robust history of the Ilajes deserve to be celebrated.

The book is written in honour of our founding fathers and their titanic struggles to give us a place in the sun. The vigorous and fervent campaign of the men of God called Apostles against stopping the killing of twins by Oro Court, the practice of communalism in Aiyetoro and the system of Secondary Modern School in Ilajeland under Western Nigeria are captured in the book.

Equally included are the myth of Ayelala shrine, origin of Ayemafuge Ilaje, list of all the towns in Ilajeland and ancient Native Courts, including their locations and mode of operations. The conception and evolvement of Adagbakuja New Town and Olokola Free Trade Zone are captured for posterity.

Moreover, the cause and damages of the war that broke out between Ilaje and Ijaw people in 1998 are fully documented in the book. The discovery of oil in Ilajeland in 1908 by the German Bitumen Corporation which activities were truncated by the world wars and global economic recession is included in the book.

Also contained in the book is the list of professors, past and present political office holders and top civil servants both at the state and federal levels.

We must commend the race which produced the likes of Sir Samuel Manuwa (one time Acting Governor General of Nigeria and first Nigerian Medical Adviser to the Federal Government of Nigeria); Prince Allison Ayida – former Secretary to the Federal Government, Leader of Super Permanent Secretaries and Head of the Bureaucracy which sustained Nigeria during the civil war; Chief Ebun Omoyele – a former Federal Permanent Secretary of note, Mr. B.A Manuwa – the first Nigerian Clerk of Parliaments, Chief Theophilus Iwajomo – the first Secretary to the Government and the Head of Ondo State Civil Service; Chief Adeneye Emuleomo, the second Secretary to Government and Head of Ondo State Civil Service; Asiwaju Oluyemi Ogunyomi – the first Clerk to the National Assembly from Southern Nigeria and Prince Ajose Kudehinbu  a consummate writer and Head of Ondo State Civil Service. It shows that an Ilaje man can be whatever he chooses to be irrespective of his background, limitations, and other challenges.

These people have shown us that determination, persistence, courage backed by immutable faith in God can always take us to the peak of human achievement. This is the foundation we need to build on.

In order to douse unnecessary controversy, no attempt is made in the book to come into any conclusion that the names x-rayed are the only prominent sons and daughters of Ilajeland. We believe there are many more, whose names would hopefully feature in subsequent editions.

No doubt, the book is informative and historical; thus making it a must-read for researchers, students, teachers and practitioners of politics and history, and the general public at large who would like to know one or two things about the great Ilaje people.

Taiwo Ilesanmi Gbamila
Akure, Ondo State.
April, 2021

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