Denies claim Benin owns Lagos territory Endorses Ambode’s re-election, warns against rebellion
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu, stirred up another hornet’s nest on Monday on the Lagos-Benin connection, insisting that Benin Monarch came to the territory of Lagos, fought and conquered.
Contrary to widely circulated reports credited to him that the Benin Kingdom owned Lagos, the monarch clarified that he had never said at any time or any place that Lagos and its territories belonged to Benin.
Akiolu also warned some unnamed political actors at the federal level working with external forces to capture Lagos State, noting that unlike Ogun State, no person could capture the state as a slave again.
He spoke at a public lecture, which former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Walter Carrington delivered on Monday at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island. The lecture was titled: Nigeria and Africa in a Changing World.
The lecture, which incisively x-rayed how Nigeria failed to unleash her socio-economic potentials in the world of 21st century, was held alongside the public presentation of a memoir: Defend the defenseless the diplomat’s wife, Dr. Arese Carrington just published.
The lecture, which was organised by the Lagos State Office of Overseas Affairs & Investment (Lagos Global), was attended by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, who represented the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and former Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola among others.
Giving goodwill message at the lecture, Akiolu said there was no way any person “can wish away the influence of Benin Kingdom in Lagos. The Benin monarch came to Lagos territories, fought and conquered.”
However, the monarch said he would reserve his comment on the Lagos-Benin connection till May 2018 when he would celebrate his 15th anniversary, noting that he would reply all of them who were making all sorts of comments about Lagos-Benin connection.
Specifically, Akiolu said: “I reserve my comment till when I will celebrate my 15th anniversary from May 15 to May 25, 2018. All of them, who are making all sorts of comments about Lagos-Benin connection, will know the kind of person Oba Akiolu is.
“No person, who has the full blood of Iga-Iduganran in him, can fault the claim of Lagos-Benin connection. Aside, there was no time Oba Akiolu said Benin Kingdom owned Lagos. I never said it. But no person can wash the influence of Benin monarch on Lagos away.
“The Benin monarch came, fought and conquered. The grace of Oba of Lagos, the descendants of Benin monarch is what is germinating in geometrical progression in Lagos up to date. They always refer to us as Olowo Eko… Very soon, I will come out in full shell. Then, all of them who are talking will keep quiet. The record is there in my possession.”
He endorsed Ambode for second term, noting that the leadership of Nigeria “is no longer for any corrupt or greedy person. That era has gone forever. Good governance as well as good leadership is what we want in Nigeria.
“This is what we have been able to display to Lagosians and Nigerians at large withAmbode, the highly respected, very intelligent and very hard-working governor. He has his own way of doing things.
“When former President Obasanjo said he wanted to capture Lagos, I made it personally clear to them that Lagos was not part of Ogun when you could capture Osoba and captured all of them. But as long as Iga-Iduganran is still there, Lagos, by God’s grace, cannot be a slave to any person.
“That is why Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains the only man standing. And they are at it again. I mean and I have said it before, nobody can capture Lagos. Nobody can stop Ambode. He is going to complete another term.
“When it is time to elect another governor, all praises be to Almighty God, I, Oba Rilwan Aremu Osuolale Akiolu, will not die. I will choose the next governor to move Lagos forward,” the monarch said.
Also at the public lecture, the Special Adviser, Office of Overseas Affairs & Investment, Prof. Ademola Abass said public lectures “do not only enrich the knowledge base of the citizenry at large on any given subject, they indeed enrich the state’s archival repository of information and knowledge all which play a crucial role in the enlightenment of the citizens and the development of the state.
“This has made the Lagos State government accept to sponsor this public lecture by Ambassador Walter Carrington who served as the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria from 1993 to 1997, to promote the ideals upheld by all who fought hard for the democracy we enjoy today”.
“The period of Ambassador Carrington’s presence in Nigeria coincided with the country’s vigorous struggle for democracy. He is widely regarded as a friend of Nigeria and a progressive mind who joined hands with notable Nigerians in the struggle for democracy.”