Literally translated the above statement means "Ota, Iganmode who fights with a cutlass. One who removes the eyes of the Egba with the ear-cleaning needle, and plucks out the eyes of Ketu with the U-shaped pin".
The above encomium is the praise song with which an Ota indegine is eulogised.All sons of Oduduwa, the legendary father of the Yoruba race have similar encomia peculiar to each of their towns.Lagos for instance is reffered to as "EKO AKETE ILE OGBON ARODEDE: AROMI SALEGBE LEGBE"(lagos home of wisdom which hangs precariously and refuses to fall; Home of aquatic splendour). Ibadan is reffered to as "IBADAN OMO AJOROSUN OMO AJE IGBIN"(Ibadan who seeks mango for super and eats the snail with its shell). Each town's encomium depicts certain antecedents and peculiarities relevant to it. The reference to Ota therefore depicts the awe in which the town,s founding fathers were held in the past.
When the progenitor of the Awori tribe Olofin and his followers left Ili-ife, they migrated southward coming through a river.They carried along with them the mud plate handed over to them at the palace of Oduduwa. They were instructed to place the plate on the river whose course they were to follow until the plate finnally sank.
They were then to settle down wherever the plate sank. A few days after they left Ile-ife, the plate suddenly stopped at a point at Olokemeji near Abeokuta.The people then started making huts with the hope that they had reached their destination.
However seventeen days later, the plate moved on. It later stopped once more at Oke-Ata where for another seventeen days it refused to bulge before suddenly shifting again.
The plates third place of stoppage was at the outskirts of Abeokuta towards Lagos. Within the further seventeen days of the peoples sojourn at this point one of them who was a very great hunter had fallen in love with the vegetation of the area because of the large number of game he was able to kill. He therefore stayed behind when the group moved on after the plate shifted base again. The mans name was OSHO ARO-BI-OLOGBO-EGAN. The settlement, which today is made popular all over the world by the sitting of The Nervous Diseases Hospital there, derived its name Aro from this great hunter.
Isheri near Lagos was the next place of call of the mysterious mud plate. When it stopped at Isheri, the people, used to the nomadic nature of the plate adopted a wait and see stance. After counting seventeen days several times without any sign of the plate moving, Olofin ordered his followers to go into action and start erecting permanent structures. The people settled down and engage in several trades. However, at the seventeenth count of seventeen days the plate moved once more. This led to pessimism amongst the followers of Olofin who had been happily settled down for two hundred and eighty-nine days. Some of them were actually looking forward to reaping their crops in no distant future. It was therefore agreed that Olofin and a handful of his followers should continue tracking the plate while the majority of them stayed behind at Isheri.