Afonja descendants allege marginalisation by Fulani in Ilorin, want more recognition

Date: 2019-08-26

The Afonja Descendants, the predominant Yoruba tribes in Ilorin, have alleged marginalisation by the Fulani who they described as usurpers of their ancestral heritage.

In a petition signed by its President, Alhaji Abdulkareem Olola Kasum, dated August 24, 2019, the Afonja, who lay claim to being active participants in the setting up of Ilorin, accused the authorities in the state, as well as the headship of the Fulani, of doing everything possible to denigrate and make people forget the Afonja family.

The petition condemned the naming of roads and public institutions after notable indigenes but none for Afonja despite his leadership status in the foundation of Ilorin.

But speaking on the development, the spokesman for the Emir of Ilorin, Malam AbdulAzeez Arowona, described the petition as mischievous and a calculated attempt to brew hatred. Arowona, in a chat with The Guardian in Ilorin, said the history of Ilorin, "as being taught or read," remained, adding that no one could obliterate the role of Afonja in the history. He said the descendants of Afonja hold two powerful titles in the town to the exclusion of others to serve as a mark of honour to their progenitor. These are 'Magaji Aare' and 'Baba-Isale.'

Arowona said that the incumbent Emir, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, who is a man of peace, gave liberty, freedom, due respect and honour to all and sundry in the town. Kasum, who accused the Emirate of deliberate attempt to make people forget about Afonja, urged Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to wade into the matter.so that the state of harmony will be it in its true form rather than a mere appellation, adding that it is not too late for the new administration to amend and correct the open injustice.

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