By Gabriel Olawale— LAGOS
Some aggrieved members of the Onìwonlu Royal Family of Ibeju Kingdom, on Wednesday, called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa and the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, to intervene in the selection process for the vacant stool of Onibeju of Ibeju Kingdom.
The aggrieved members alleged that some interested politicians are bent on manipulating the kingmakers to crown a candidate that is not from any of the royal lineages in Ibeju, as the king.
In a petition dated August 19, 2020, after the death of Oba Salami, members of the Oniwonlu Royal family of Ibeju Kingdom raised the alarm alleging a plan to manipulate the selection and nomination process in favour of a particular contestant “that has no blood affiliation, in whatever way, with any of the royal houses in Ibeju.”
The petition, signed by Prince Adewale Lawal, Prince Adegunwa Adeboyejo, Prince Quadri Idogun, Prince Sikìru Adeniran and Prince Seedeeq Oniwonlu, was addressed to Sanwo-Olu, the State House of Assembly and others.
The Oniwonlu royal family urged the Lagos State government to use the instrument of the law in the consideration, selection and installation of the 20th Oba of Ibeju Kingdom as a way of fostering peace, unity and progress of the area.
Some concerned members of the family have also faulted the selection committee for edging out Prince Wasiu Adeboye Adefuwa on the excuses that he has burnt scars on his right hand and therefore, could not be nominated based on the physical deformity.
Contrary to the physical disability clause placed on Adefuwa, the contestant is said to be the most qualified aspirant having worked for several years in two major reputable newspaper organisations in Nigeria until he retired last year.
A reliable source disclosed that the scar, being referred to on Adefuwa’s right hand, is nothing that could be regarded as a deformity.
Sources also faulted the committee, saying there was nowhere Adefuwa was denied employment or promotion based on physical deformity.
The residents of Ibeju also called for the intervention of leaders and elders of Lagos and, especially Governor Sanwo-Olu, to investigate the matter.
Selection c’ttee followed due process— Lawmaker
Reacting to the allegation that politicians in the area were influencing the selection process, Fatai Mojeed, who represents Ibeju-Lekki Constituency 1 in the Lagos State Assembly, said the selection committee must have followed the due process under the Chieftaincy Law of the state in picking the right person.
Mojeed said: “It is the responsibility of the kingmakers to select whoever that is right for the stool.
“I am not interested in the process and system as I am not entitled to partake in the selection process. As far as I am concerned, there is no crisis regarding the selection of the right person.
“Those who claimed that the selection committee did not follow the chieftaincy law may not know and understand the law itself.”