Ikeja Royal Dispute: Kingmakers Disown ‘Self-acclaimed Oba-elect’

Akinwumi Ambode

Kayode Fasua

The Body of Kingmakers in Ikeja community of Lagos, at the weekend, distanced itself from the claim of one of the princes, that he had been nominated as the new Olu of Ikeja.

In an interview with THISDAY, the Secretary to the Body of Kingmakers in Ikejaland, Chief Olufemi Titi-Thomas, said the kingmakers took exception to a claim by one of the princes, Wasiu Adeleye, who wrote a letter to the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, asking the governor to crown him.

In a letter to Ambode on February 4, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, Wasiu Adeleye had stated, “This is to inform Your Excellency that I am a bonafide choice of the Ifa oracle, kingmakers and the entire family (and) all these are backed by documentary evidences which we are ready to produce when the time comes.”

But in his reaction, Titi-Thomas, the scribe to the kingmakers, said, “Wasiu Adeleye has only succeeded in telling a lie to the governor, as he has never been so nominated.”

Titi-Thomas said, “About five years ago when the late Olu of Ikeja, Oba Amore, joined his ancestors, we invited all the princes for screening but Wasiu did not turn up, despite many entreaties.

“We then went ahead with the screening process and also consulted the Ifa oracle, which picked his elder brother, Prince Samsondeen Adeleye.

“The Body of Kingmakers was then chaired by the late former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo, and we dutifully sent Samsondeen’s name to the Ikeja Local Government as the Oba-elect.

“So ever since, we have been expecting the state government to give approval to our recommendation; and we are, however, grateful to Governor Ambode who involved the Oba-elect, Prince Samsondeen Adeleye, in a public function recently,” Titi-Thomas clarified.

He described a similar letter purportedly written to Ambode on the label of “Council of Customary and Traditional Chiefs of Ikeja”, endorsing Wasiu, as “fraudulent and non-existent.”

“As far as we are concerned, apart from the Body of Kingmakers, Ikeja only has the Regency Council, of which I am a member.

“The other non-existent council being paraded as supporting Wasiu is a break-away native cult, which is operating contrary to the recognised Ikeja native traditional group headed by the Olukosi (the royal confraternity head).”

Titi-Thomas, as such, urged Governor Ambode to expedite action on the installation of Samsondeen Adeleye as Oba of Ikeja, even as he called on security agencies to caution Wasiu, “against creating confusion in a peaceful community like Ikeja.”

Meanwhile, in January this year, Governor Ambode had raised a special tribunal, headed by Justice Titilola Ojikutu-Oshode, to look into chieftaincy disputes in Lagos State and recommend appropriate action to the state government.

The panel, it was reliably gathered, would wind up its activities next month and may have come up with at least four names of Obas-elect to be installed by the Ambode administration before the governor hands over to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on May 29, this year.

A source at the state’s Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs, who preferred anonymity, informed our correspondent that the Ikeja chieftaincy issue had been trashed out by the tribunal, and that the community is likely to get an Oba, latest may this year.