By Okunade Adekunle, Lagos
Some residents of Orimedu Community in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State have protested an alleged move by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Muslim Folami, to impose an Oba on the community.
The protesters displayed placards that read: “Hon Folami, stop bribing our kings, no room for imposition,” “Hon Muslim Folami betrayed APC,” “Accord Party Leader cannot instal a king in Lagos State” and “Folami, stop bastardizing our traditional institution.
Others were, “Folami, do not make our kingship do or die,” “Folami must go, O to ge,” “Folami commissionership is a curse rather blessing,” “LASG/LAHA & Concerned authorities call Folami to order” and ”Folami do not make our community a war zone.”
The leader of the protesters, Mr. Issa Olayinka, who spoke on their behalf, accused Hon. Folami of attempting to impose one Ibrahim Akodu as the Oba of the community through the backdoor.
“We are from Orimedu in Ibeju Lekki. We are here concerning the attempt of the State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Muslim Folami to impose a king on us in Orimedu.
“The Onimedu of Orimedu died about four months ago and we have about seven months to perform traditional rites before another person could be king and this has procedures and protocols, which had to be followed.
“There is a declaration that it is now the turn of Oke Oshodi Quarters out of the six quarters in the area to produce the next king. “The issue now is that the people in Oke Oshodi quarters would have to come together and discuss with the ‘afobaje’ kingmakers,” he said.
Olayinka stressed that the commissioner is not from Oke Oshodi quarters, though he is from Orimedu.
He said further that what the elders of Oke Oshodi quarters said was that each of the 11 families in the quarters should bring one candidate each including the family of Ibrahim Akodu, who is the present Chief Akinrogun of the community and Folami’s candidate.
“Akodu even supposed to relinquish his present position if he wants to contest for the kingship, but the commissioner is saying that he should retain the seat.
“We were told that Folami had the approval of the Governor to do this, which was why we wrote a letter to the Governor.
“There are about 14 candidates for the kingship, but Folami’s candidate had not been coming for the meetings that others have been coming.
“Though Ibrahim Akodu is from the quarters, he has not obtained form and he has not been meeting with us all because of his closeness to the commissioner,” he said.
Olayinka revaled that they had met with the commissioner and invited him for meetings several times, and that they had written letters to the Governor of the state, speaker of the state house of assembly, the lawmaker representing Ibeju Lekki Constituency 2 Hon. Raheem Kazeem and the lawmaker representing Ibeju Lekki Constituency 1, Hon. Fatai Mojeed on the issue.
The letters, he said were dated 7th January, 2019.
Addressing the protesters, Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 2) thanked them for the peaceful conduct of the protest.
Idimogu, who was joined by Hon. Akeem Shokunle, promised to deliver the protest letter to the Speaker of the House, while promising that the lawmakers in the assembly would deliberate on the matter and get back to them soon.
When contacted on the allegations, Folami said he was surprised about the allegations and is at a loss understanding why they are making such allegations against him.
“I don’t know Ibrahim Akodu and I don’t know why they are making the allegations”, he said.
According to him, the pocess of appointing, upgrading or installation of an Oba is very long and tedious and are spelt out in the state Chief and Oba laws and without going through the procedure no candidate can be recognized, upgraded or appointed as an Oba.
He said the process of either appointing, upgrading or instalation of a Chief, Baale or Oba as provided by the state Oba and Chieftaincy law is very tedious; which involves the ruling families submitting names of candidates to the local government who then transmits names to the kingmakers then transmits the names and document to the ministry.
“The ministry then transmits same to the Justice ministry for clearance and sends back after approval, then it is sent to the governor then subsequently presented to the Executive.
“All these processes takes from three months to as much as three years to accomplish and no body can circumvent the process; my ministry is in charge, I know the law and the procedure, how can I be the one to circumvent the law or process”, said the Commissioner.