Ikeja Royal Crisis Worsens as Kingmakers’ Faction Emerges

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Akinwumi Ambode

Kayode Fasua

The royal tussle in Ikeja community of Lagos State took a new dimension at the weekend, as a splinter group of the body of kingmakers emerged, with a vow to protest against the selection of the Oba-elect, Prince Samsondeen Adeleye.

Only last week, the body of kingmakers, led by its secretary, Chief Olufemi Titi-Thomas, had in an interview with THISDAY, pleaded with the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, to install Adeleye as the new Olu of Ikeja, before the governor hands over power to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on May 29.

Titi-Thomas, in making the plea, had explained that Adeleye was nominated Oba-elect by the kingmakers under their then chairman, the late Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo, about five years ago.

But in a new twist, Chief Lolade Shonibare, a spokesman for another faction of the kingmakers, alleged that Titi-Thomas “had been sacked a long time ago and as such, cannot speak for the kingmakers.”

Shonibare, in a chat with THISDAY, averred that Samsonden Adeleye is not their choice, as the kingmakers would soon unfold their candidate.

THISDAY, however, gathered that the Shonibare faction is rooting for the candidature of Wasiu Adeleye, a younger brother to Samsondeen Adeleye. The group’s candidate, it was further gathered, is being promoted by an ex-female commissioner in Lagos, who is an indigene of Ikeja.

But in a swift reaction, Titi-Thomas said he remained the undisputed secretary to the body of kingmakers recognised by both the Ikeja Local Government and the Lagos State Government.

“I am not just the secretary to the body of kingmakers; I am the Ashipa of Ikejaland, which is a traditional title and whoever is an Ashipa must be a kingmaker. So, this other faction is non-existent and cannot pick an Oba for Ikeja,” Titi-Thomas insisted.

Complementing him, a notable indigene of Ikeja and a politician, who did not want his name in print, while speaking with THISDAY, asked Shonibare to “shut up.”

“The man Shonibare is not a kingmaker. He was only fortunate to have held an elective position in Ikeja Local Government before. It’s really insulting for him to say Baba Titi-Thomas, an Ashipa for that matter, had been sacked as secretary to the kingmakers. Who sacked him?, the politician asked angrily