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Storm over Olu of Ikeja stool unabating

By Gbenga Salau and Gbenga Akinfenwa
30 January 2022   |   3:44 am
Despite penultimate Saturday’s alleged installation of a new Olu of Ikeja, by some ruling houses, the crisis surrounding the emergence of a new monarch is yet to abate.

Despite penultimate Saturday’s alleged installation of a new Olu of Ikeja, by some ruling houses, the crisis surrounding the emergence of a new monarch is yet to abate.

Hours after Prince Tajudeen Muritala was allegedly installed, following the completion of traditional rites, the Ikeja Local Council issued a disclaimer, where it informed the public that it knows nothing about the selection, adding that the family has not even notified the council on the chosen candidate.

As the furore was yet to die down, a section of the Osooja Royal Family announced 33-year-old Prince Temitope Ibikunle, as a candidate for the stool.

Ibikunle was one of the youth representatives on the now-defunct Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and other matters.

But members of the Iyade Royal Family, not only rejected the announcement of Ibikunle, they also accused the council of partisanship, insisting that Prince Muritala rightly deserved the throne.

Princes Jamiu Folami and Adeniyi Ilo, who spoke on behalf of the family, maintained that the issues should not have degenerated to a situation where different royal families were antagonising one another, if politicians had not infiltrated the families.

Folami, who debunked the claim that Muritala was not a member of any of the royal families, provided oral historical record that linked Muritala to Iyade and Osooja royal families.

While wondering why politicians within the local council were obstructing the emergence of a king in Ikeja, he maintained that the installation of Muritala was in the interest of the community, the reason they were supporting him.

Asked to expose politicians that were thwarting the process, he promised to do that in the future when there is a reason to do so.

On his part, Ilo, who is the Olori Oluwo, pleaded with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the state Commissioner for Local Council and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed to intervene in the matter before things degenerate in the community.

Ilo, who led the procession for Muritala’s initiation/installation, wondered why the Ikeja Local Council issued the disclaimer at the completion of the installation rites since it was duly notified of the exercise.

Commenting also, Prince Mukadam Akinlabi, said Ibikunle was picked after the family met last Sunday following the failure of Wasiu and Nurudeen Adeleye to step down for each other. He added that Muritala does not belong to any units in the royal families reason he cannot be king.

Similarly, another group within the royal family has urged Sanwo-Olu to act fast and eliminate the lingering obaship tussle in Ikeja to avert a communal clash that may result in bloodshed in the kingdom.
 
The appeal was made in a statement by the family of Kushemi-Moses, through their family chairman, Leke Moses, who warned impostors and sundry claimants to the throne to desist from activities that could jeopardise or cause divisions among the indigenes. He noted that obaship stool is a traditional position, therefore it should not be partisan.
 
While noting that the purported installation was done by three selected royal families of Ikeja, Moses said: “We ask how can you install a first class Oba in Lagos State without the involvement of all the royal families, the kingmakers, the chiefs, the local council chairman, and of course the state governor whose office is located in Ikeja town?
 
He said the usurper does not belong to any of the above families as such cannot be installed as oba.