The Council of Obas in Lagos State has condemned in strong terms the attack on the Palace of Oba of Lagos, HRM, Oba Rilwan Akiolu at Iga Iduganran, Lagos, by hoodlums in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.
The Council of Obas expressed their dismay during a condolence visit to the Palace at Iga Idunganran on Friday.
The Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Sotobi, the Vice Chairman of Council of Obas, who spoke during the visit, condemned the desecration of the stool of the Oba of Lagos and described the act as a debasement of the traditional institution in the State, noting that the Council collectively denounced the destruction and would not take the issue with levity.
He said, “We are here today to commiserate with Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu on the attack of his Palace in the wake of #EndSARS protest by hoodlums. We are not happy with this and that is why we collectively denounce this act of violence. We will not allow our traditional institution to be destroyed. The palace has been in existence for ages and it is a symbol of our traditional institution.”
Oba Sotobi said the destruction was uncalled for as the Governor of the State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been pragmatic in addressing the issues raised by the youths, which also included notifying the Presidency on all of their five demands.
He also took time to condemn other attacks on the Judiciary, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and other private property, describing the occurrence as inimical to growth and development while maintaining that it is the average man that would bear the brunt.
The Monarch, however, sought an adequate role by the government for effective operations at the grassroots level, promising that the Council would meet to discuss how to galvanise support to address other challenges confronting the State.
Appealing to the youths to embrace peace, Oba Sotobi also urged other traditional leaders to return to their base, counsel their subjects and engage them on handling public issues and becoming more security conscious.
Also speaking, Oba Muhammed Adio Yusuf, The Onisoro of Tomaro. Lagos, observed that the damage done was colossal and better imagined.
He prayed that the State would never witness such an act again and appealed that the government should also engage the youths by creating a more enabling environment for them through employment.
In the same vein, Chief Adesoji Benbe, the Obanikoro of Lagos, while condemning the act, advocated more roles for the traditional rulers in the community beyond mere ceremonial duties.
Recall that Nigerian youths recently staged a peaceful protest demanding the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), following allegations of police brutality. However, the protests were hijacked by hoodlums who wreaked havoc on both public and private infrastructure in Lagos, including the Oba’s Palace in Lagos.