Benin, Yoruba people are relatives – Chief Lateef Jakande
By Kingsley Abavo, Benin
People of Benin Kingdom and Yoruba are relatives having common historical roots it has again been established.
Re – counting history, Yoruba elder statesman and nationalist, Chief Lateef Jakande explained that the people of Benin and Yoruba including the Itsekiri people are of the same parents who went their various ways several years ago.
Chief Jakande spoke through his representative; HRH Barrister Rufus Olarenwaju, Oba of Gbomina – Ekiti in Benin, Edo State on Saturday.
It was at an event organized by Castle of Legends Initiative under the leadership of Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom in honour of late Chief Anthony Enahoro.
At the event, a life size statue of Enahoro erected by the group at the Edo State House of Assembly to immortalize him for his contributions to independence and development of Nigeria, was unveiled by the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Describing Jakande as an institution, Oba Olarewaju said; “he has directed me to tell the Benin people that ‘Ile La wa’ (we have actually come back home).
He told Edebiri that he has a brother of the same parents who bears the same title of Esogban in Lagos.
“Your title is not Esogban, is Asogban as we have the Asogban of Lagos. They left Benin years ago, I was made to understand that they are the same father, and mother with you. Please look for them, and unite with them.”
Re – counting History
Before our fathers left Benin, Olu Ginuwa of Warri left a week earlier. My forefathers were cousins to the Olu. Now, Olu has left. Where is he? My forefather wondered.
Let me look for him. But unfortunately, they went opposite ways. My forefathers left and rove around and set up Gbomina – Ekiti kingdom. It should be noted that Gbomina – Ekiti is not in Ekiti State, it is in Kwara State, and there is Ekiti Local Government in Kwara State.
We also have another brother. He is the Ogoga of Ikere – Ekiti. They too left Benin Palace here. They were also looking for their brother who left Benin, that is, Olu Ginuwa. Unfortunately, they too moved opposite ways and became the Ogoga of Ikere – Ekiti.
So, you can see that we have come home to see our people, to be with our brother.
There is a place in Lagos call Iddo where there is a railway station. The original name is Edo not Iddo. The name changed to Iddo over the years due to the inability of the Yorubas to properly pronounce Edo.
From Lagos to this place; belong to Benin – City, up to Benin Republic.
He admonished: “Please when you get home, teach your children to know history of where they come from.”
Jakande solicited that everyone should support the Esogban , Chief Edebiri in making sure that history is restored as course of study at all levels of education in Nigeria.
Jakande a veteran journalist and former Governor, Lagos State was a member of the Nigeria militant youths in the struggle against colonial imperialism and actualization of independence.
He, along three other living members were honoured at the event for their contributions.
Other Honourees: Senator Nosike Ikpo, Ichie Mbazilike Amaechi, and Alhaji Salihu Abubakar Tanko Yakassai.