Obanikoro Denies Benin Ancestry

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Shola Oyeyipo

Against the background of claims by former Works Minister, Chief Femi Okunnu, that he shares a Benin ancestry, former Minister of State for Defence and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Lagos State, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro wednesday denied that his progenitor was from Bini kingdom of Edo State.

Obanikoro, a strong aspirant on the platform for the PDP in the last governorship election in Lagos State said rather than the mis-information, the legendary Obanikoro family in Lagos hails from Awori – Idiluwo-Ile in Ojo local government area of the state.

The renowned Lagos politician was caretaker committee chairman, Surulere local government, substantive chairman, Lagos Island local government, former commissioner and senator that represented Lagos Central senatorial district and later he was appointed as minister during the president Goodluck Jonathan era.

Koro, as he is usually called, contended that the narratives of the eminent Lagosian, Chief Okunnu, that Obanikoro was from Benin was wrong, stressing that while he personally had a link with Benin through his paternal great grand mother, who he said hailed from Eletu-Odibo family, “the first Obanikoro was not from Benin.”

According to him, “Chief Okunnu said Obanikoro was from Benin. We are not from Benin. We are from Aworiland. We are from Idiluwo-Ile in Ojo local government. Personally, I have Bini blood. My paternal great grand mother was from Eletu-Odibo family. Eletu-Odibo came with the Oba of Benin to Lagos. She was the daughter of Ogabi Eletu-Odibo. But, Obanikoro was not a Bini man. He was an Awori.”

He noted that “the descendants of Chief Obanikoro, among who are Ajayi-Bembe, Ogunlana Arewa, Abisawo Otun, Osadeko, Aregbe and Oyerokun, were conscious of their Awori root.”