Yoruba earliest settlers, who lay claim to being active participants in the setting up of Ilorin have decried marginalization by the Fulanis described as usurpers of their ancestral heritage.
The leader and President of the Afonja Descendants the predominant Yoruba tribes in Ilorin in a petition signed by its President Alhaji Abdulkareem Olola Kasum dated 24th August, 2019 titled: “Discriminatory Honours of Heroes and Heroines in Kwara State,” accused the authorities in the state as well as the headship of the Fulanis of doing everything possible to denigrate and make people forget the Afonja family.
“Admittedly, Kwara is a state of harmony composed of heterogeneous, pluralistic and peace-loving citizens. However, this perception of Kwara state is respected more in the breach than in the observance when it comes to recognition of heroes and heroines, that is to sy, according to whom honour is due.”
Citing an example of its marginalization, the petition made mention of the naming of road and public institutions after notable indigenes but none for Afonja despite his leadership status in the foundation of Ilorin.
Speaking further on the petition, Alhaji Olola Kasum said that there is no Chief Imam for Yorubas in Ilorin, none street names after Afonja and no public institution is named after their progenitor.
He accused the Emirate of deliberate attempt to make people forget about Afonja and that when a Bank was named after Afonja, the owner of the bank was mysteriously killed by some elements suspected to be agents of the Fulanis on his way coming from the burial of the mother of General David Jemibewon, rtd in Kogi state.
Lamenting, he said it is observable that the powers that be in the state, Ilorin in particular attempts to do everything to eliminate all that has to do with Afonja and his memorial from history and existence of Ilorin, a thing he said might spur violence in the future.
He, therefore, called upon the governor of the state, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to wade in 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.