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Olu of Ikeja: Ruling houses court Sanwo-Olu’s attention as fight for stool deepens

By Kehinde Olatunji and Shakirah Adunola
23 January 2022   |   4:13 am
An end to the seven-year-old dispute over the vacant Ikeja kingdom throne appears to be far from over as different ruling houses are locked in a war of words, while pushing their preferred candidates.

Governor Sanwo-olu. Photo/FACEBOOK/ jidesanwooluofficial

•Alleged Impostor Parading As King

An end to the seven-year-old dispute over the vacant Ikeja kingdom throne appears to be far from over as different ruling houses are locked in a war of words, while pushing their preferred candidates.

Last Friday, the Oshoja Ruling House appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to declare Prince Wasiu Owolabi Adeleye, as the next king of Ikeja land because the “kingmakers” have accepted he should occupy the stool, after going through rigorous screening.

As this happened, other royal families in the community had other ideas, when they picked a real estate expert, Tajudeen Muritala, as their new monarch to occupy the empty palace.

According to the Oshoja Ruling House: “It would be recalled that for the past seven years the stool of Oba of Ikeja has remained vacant after the demise of the former king, Oba Raufu Adeniyi Matele Amore, who died on July 1, 2014.

“In May 12, 2014, the kingmakers comprising of the Akogun, Ekerin and Balogun of Ikeja forwarded the name of the Oba-elect, Prince Wasiu Owolabi Adeleye, who is a staunch member of All Progressives Congress (APC) to Ikeja Council, and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs after rigorous screening,”

At a press conference, they renounced Tajudeen Muritala, for allegedly parading himself on the social media as the newly elected King of Ikeja land, saying he is alien in Ikeja kingdom.

The Head of Osuoja Ruling House, Chief Issa Salami Akinlabi, who briefed the press, urged Sanwo-Olu to urgently wade into this issue as a matter of utmost urgency, as well as clear and appoint Prince Adeleye as the Olu of Ikeja.

“It is sad that Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos State has been without an Oba for the past seven years. We would appreciate the support as the executive governor of Lagos State to approve and install Adeleye as appropriate.”

“Any letter claiming that three ruling houses, Oshoja, Iyade or Amore ruling houses recommended or nominated any other candidate apart from Prince Adeleye as the Olu of Ikeja elect should be demised and nullified,” Akinlabi appealed.

He added that the presence of a traditional ruler is an elixir for peace and harmony and crucial for development and progress of the state.

The Oluwo and Olukosi of Ikeja, Chief Lateef Oluwasyi, condemned those parading themselves as Ikeja monarch saying the reason people were parading themselves as king was because the installation was delayed.

“From records and all meetings held, the most deserved person to occupy the stool of Olu of Ikeja is Price Wasiu Adeleye.”

But the families supporting Muritala described him as their preferred candidate because of his lineage as a royal son from the Oshoja Royal Family, and also to end the interregnum that had affected the community from having a leader.
 
They maintained that they have written to Sanwo-Olu to inform him of their conclusions, and for an official declaration of their preferred candidate for the throne.
  
Muritala was unveiled at an event attended by elders of the community, youths, and community leaders including, Chief Olushola Coker, Chief Mureni Illo, Prince Saheed Afariogun, Prince Jamiu Folami, Prince Jamiu Obidairo, and the Iyaloja of Ikeja, Princess Mutiat Folami.
  
Coker, who spoke at the event, stressed that Muritala’s selection was a unanimous decision of the royal families in Ikeja kingdom, and that the name was picked while scrutinising all candidates shortlisted to assume the throne with the criteria of Obaship within the royal families.
  
He noted that the same agreement was reached earlier and formed the content of the letter earlier sent to the former governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, in 2016 for approval.
   
According to him, about 40 heads of different sub-families from the royal families signed the agreement and asked the government to approve Muritala as their preferred candidate from the Oshoja Royal Family.