- Sacrilegious Act Allegedly Traced Back To 17 Years Ago
By Shakirudeen Bankole
Likely reasons why the palace of the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Highness, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, was attacked and looted by angry mobs on Wednesday, October 21, are beginning to emerge.
In a rare desecration of a Yoruba traditional throne, the Iga Iduganra Palace of the Olowo Eko, was invaded and thoroughly ransacked, with priceless artifacts taken away, including the king’s staff of office.
Incidentally, the stolen staff represents the symbol of authority and the throne itself!
Part of what was looted was said to be a stockpile of Covid-19 food palliatives, allegedly meant to be distributed amongst residents during the lockdown, but hidden in the palace.
Multiple reasons have been reportedly adduced as likely dynamics that might have been responsible for the shocking looting. Premised on this, two divergent schools of thought have emerged.
One school of thought maintain that the primary reasons underpinnings the attack, were allegedly unconnected with the protest against police brutality and bad governance in the country.
The issues, according to this school of thought, may have included the alleged injustice surrounding how the monarch was reportedly recommended, and subsequently enthroned about 17 years ago by the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to this account, some of the indigenes of Lagos, particularly some members of the ruling houses, reportedly kicked against the choice of the former police top-shot, saying the Akiolu’s Family wasn’t entitled to the throne, going by the established conventional protocols of the throne and selection process.
This group claimed that he was not only ineligible to the throne, but also that his parents were reportedly not from Lagos originally.
The matter reportedly became a subject of litigation as it was dragged to the Ikeja High Court, with the duo of Prince Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile, both prospects to the throne, insisting that “Akiolu was only enthroned in May 23, 2003 because of the undue political interference by the former governor, Tinubu.”
The duo had argued through their lawyer, Mr. Babatunde Fashanu, that “the customary rules and procedures that led to his emergence and installation, were grossly abused.”
However, this position was seriously challenged by those who believe that the Monarch was duly and appropriately enthroned in line with the requisite tradition, protocols and convention.
Similarly, on his part, the Oba has continued to defend himself, reiterating that his enthronement followed tradition and accordingly enjoyed the support of both the government and the Lagos Ruling Council.
Those who hold this view have always called on those opposed to the Oba to toe the line of peace as the right and proper process was rightly followed in his enthronement.
However, the divided position has reportedly continued to create a bad blood amongst the descendants of the Lagos ruling house.
Sources also revealed that another possible reason why the king was assaulted, was the alleged “ role he played in the emergence of the State’s Chairman of the National Road Transport Workers Union, popularly known as M.C Olu-Omo.”
Another source said “M.C Olu-Omo was picked over Kunle Poly, who is a true Lagos indigene because of the tacit support of the King and Asiwaju Tinubu.”
Some stakeholders and subjects of the king have also been grumbling that “the reign of the king is unpleasant, especially to the trueborn of Lagos.”
“The attack of the Palace of the Oba of Lagos is indeed sacrilegious. But the emergence of the occupant in the first place, couldn’t be more sacrilegious,” a Professor of History and International relations in one of the universities in Nigeria, who doesn’t want his name in print because of possible victimization, told our correspondent.
“It was the biggest traditional fraud of all times. And it is disheartening because it happened in Lagos State, the center of excellence.
“How can you enthrone someone who is not eligible as a King of a big, strategic, and prosperous state like Lagos? The political abracadabra is just too unfortunate. What we are seeing now are clearly part of the manifestations of the injustices of the yesteryears,” the source submitted.
Another disgruntled elderly man, who also pleaded anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation, said “Iyan Ogun Odun a mon jo ni lowo n tooto. Oro re. (literarily means ‘the sin/injustice of yesteryears can come back to hunt the perpetrator(s), no matter how long.”
“Ewo ni, won e gbe omo oba fo’sun, lailai. Bo pe, bo ya, esan a ke (It is forbidden to robe Peters to pay Paul. No matter how long, nemesis will surely catch-up with the perpetrator one day),” the source, said, proverbially.
“Oba Rilwan Akinolu has ordered the Police to arrest and detain my cousin for days before, for parking on the road to pick his wife, who was buying something in one of the stalls.” another Lagosian, name withheld, lamented.
But another account attribute the accusations to petty jealousy and envious attitude. ” Don’t forget that these people are envious. Here is a man who also rose to the rank of an AIG in the Police…So don’t rule out petty jeolousy in the incident that happened at the Palace”, he added.
Calls put through to the officials of the palace to get their reactions to some of the allegations were not answered. The reason may not be far-fetched.