*We deserve First Class status by our history
People of Ekan-Meje kingdom, in Oke Ero Local Government of Kwara State recently consolidated their history when leaders of the community led by the paramount ruler, Oba Michael Adeyemi visited Ile-Ife, to pay homage to the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi.
Ekan-Meje located at the border between Kwara, Ekiti and Osun States was founded some centuries ago when their ancestors left Ile-Ife, regarded as the cradle of the Yoruba race and civilisation.
An elated Oba Adeyemi explained to journalists at the palace that the visit was a great home coming for his people who have been looking forward to a great day like this. He thanked the Ooni for the warm reception and the community leaders for the logistics of the trip.
The Ooni, who took the visitors to the ancestral site of their forefathers before the migration, thanked the delegation for the historic visit and promised to visit Ekan very soon. He also took the visiting Oba round his palace and some important sites around the palace.
Tradition has it that the Elekan and his uncle, Oore of Otun, emerged from the Okun Moba (Moba Sea) in the present coastal area of Lagos with a calabash containing water in his hand, beads around his neck and a beaded crown on his head.
Some of the places they passed through after Ile-Ife included Akure, Oke Olodun, and Ipole before moving to the present site over 400 years ago.
It is also recorded by tradition that the migration of Oore, Elekan and their people from one location to the other as stated above were not due to conquest at war or threat to internal security of his people. In fact, Otun and Ekan were never conquered by any community or subjugated under any kingdom of old.
Otun and Ekan were neither under the old Oyo Empire nor under Benin Kingdom. It was never under the control of Ibadan warrior who dominated most of the areas in the present South West of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the people of Ekan-Meje renewed their appealed to the state governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed to elevate the Elekan of Eka-Meje to a first Class oba.
The National President of Ekan Development Association, Professor Adebayo Omotosho who made the appeal on behalf of the community maintained that the Elekan has been most senior oba in the history of the present Oke-Ero Local Government.
According to Ilorin Province Gazetter, Otun Ekiti undertook some critical actions separating their activities from Ilorin division from the early 1900 to 1936.
A partition scheme was later introduced which granted Ekan-Meje and Iloffa local autonomy under the direct administration of the Emir of Ilorin. These change left Otun with 11 villages under its governance.
Ekan and four other villages were thereafter subjected under the Elekan of Ekan while Olobbo and Ilofa were independent in charge of his territory.