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18 years of vacuum: Lagos Community without king protests, seek Ambode, lawmakers’ intervention

…As Assembly sets up investigation panel

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Hundreds of residents, including members of Olofin Royal Family of Isheri-Oke Church in Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area, LCDA,Lagos State, yesterday, stormed the premises of the state House of Assembly and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s office,Alausa, Ikeja, and demanded for immediate intervention in the prolong “obaship” traditional stool in the community in the interest of peace and development.

They lamented that there had been vacuum since the demise of the last king about 18 years ago with successive government refusing to appoint and install the heir-apparent to the stool despite several appeals and petition to both arms of government, the Executive and legislature.

The placard carrying protesters, led by Barrister Lekan Odunsi, who was also the spokesman of the group, stormed the presmises at about 10 am and explained that it became expedient for the community to cry out and ventilate their grievances following what he called, “Long suffering and oppression” being perpetuated by some alleged influential persons in the state government with regard to the Obaship stool in the area.

The protesters barricaded the entrance to the office of the governor and state House of Assembly but were closely monitored by armed security personnel.

However, some of the inscriptions on the placards reads, “All we are saying give us Olofin Chieftaincy, Isheri Oke Church deserve a king, Governor Ambode Please stop the injustice and give us our throne, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs stop embarrassing Ambode’s government.”

Isheri-Oke Church Town, is an ancient indigenous Awori settlement that has been in existence long before the advent of British Colonization of the country.

According to Odunsi, who is also a Prince of the community, “For upward of 18 years, the government of Lagos State has consistently refused to listen or consider the yearnings of our people’s request for the approval of their Oba nowithstanding intrinsic judicial and historical facts presented to successive government.

“Our long sufferings and oppression became manifest and aggravated in recent time when the family’s Chieftaincy Declaration for the Obaship stool presented the incumbent. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Muslim Folami for the requisite approval in the last two years had been given no attention by the Ministry, hence, the request for Ambode’s and lawmakers’ intervention.”

Odunsi lamented that the vacuum had led to the under development of the area because no leader could present their cases before the government

They called on Ambode and the lawmakers to call to order, the commissioner, Folami, whom they accused of frustrating efforts to address the matter because of persona interest of some individuals (nameswithheld).

“We demand that Governor Ambode to use his Executive Fiat to settle the matter.”

Responding on behalf of the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adebisi Yusuf, representing Alimosho Constituency I, commended the peaceful manner of the protesters for good conduct and assured that the matter would be given speedy attention and appropriate action be taken.

According to him, “I can assure you that we, lawmakers will be thorough in looking at this. The house will set up a panel to investigate the matter and appropriate recommendation will be made and we shall surely invite you back as soon we arrived at a decision.”

A representative from the Office of the Civic Engagement, who preferred anonymity, on behalf of the Executive arm, also assured the protesters to be calm and return home, saying, “Everything will be done to ensure justice on your matter without further delay.”

He later invited the leaders of the community to a meeting today, with the view of resolving the issues.



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